Crypto scammers using AI deepfakes and ChatGPT-related keywords to fool victims: Report

Crypto scammers are using images of non-existent people as well as popular AI buzz words in order to market their products

Updated - June 07, 2024 01:01 pm IST

Published - June 07, 2024 12:45 pm IST

The report titled ‘AI-enabled crime in the cryptoasset ecosystem’ looked into the rise of AI-generated deepfakes of major crypto influencers [File]

The report titled ‘AI-enabled crime in the cryptoasset ecosystem’ looked into the rise of AI-generated deepfakes of major crypto influencers [File] | Photo Credit: Reuters

Crypto scammers are using AI in diverse ways, including celebrity deepfakes for endorsements and trending buzzwords such as GPT, in order to dupe victims who are investing in crypto-assets, revealed blockchain analytics platform Elliptic in its new report.

The report titled ‘AI-enabled crime in the cryptoasset ecosystem’ looked into the rise of AI-generated deepfakes of major crypto influencers, political leaders, and even crypto exchange employees, in order to build a false sense of trust among users.

Deepfakes of former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Taiwan’s eighth President Lai Ching-te, and Elon Musk showed them promoting crypto or other investment scams, per the report.

On the other end of the spectrum, AI deepfakes were also used by crypto exchanges in order to furnish false but hyper-realistic images of employees or leaders, in order to make their websites look legitimate.

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Other scammers capitalised on the hype surrounding generative AI technologies at large, by using the names of popular large language models or other industry-specific buzz words, to push dubious crypto tokens.

“AI is the hype-generating target of a string of recent scam tokens. There are hundreds of tokens listed on several blockchains that have some variant of the term “GPT’’ in their name – including “GPT4 Token”, “CryptoGPT’’ and “GPT Coin” – amongst others. Some may indeed reflect well-intentioned ventures, but a number of them have been shilled in amateur trading forums where scammers claim some form of official association with ChatGPT or other supposedly legitimate AI company,” noted Elliptic in its report.

Crypto crimes and criminals are challenging to track down as the decentralised nature of such transactions can obstruct law enforcement efforts.

Crypto exchanges, especially non-regulated ones, also have fewer KYC requirements or clawback procedures in place to safeguard their customers.

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