Shivaun Taylor, an Ontario resident, recently fell victim to a cryptocurrency scam after seeing a fake social media news story. She told CTV News Toronto that she had come across a post on TikTok that reported an investor had turned a $250 investment into a $28,000 return each month.
“The news story said a police officer was making thousands of dollars a month. That made me get really interested, and I just signed up,” Taylor said.
The scammers contacted her the next day and pestered her to invest $250 into cryptocurrency and kept asking her for more money until she gave them $7250. She was unable to withdraw her money from the platform. It was then that she realized the news story had been generated by artificial intelligence.
“My money is not in that platform anymore,” Taylor told the news outlet. “That money was to take care of my child who has autism. I am so stressed and devastated. That money was to support him.”
Taylor is not alone in being taken in by these deepfake scams. Artificial intelligence technology is used to create incredibly realistic images, audio or videos, sometimes even of famous people, to deceive victims. The Department of Homeland Security has identified this as a growing threat and the Federal Trade Commission estimates that tens of thousands of Americans lost over $1.18 billion to cryptocurrency fraud between 2018 and 2020.