Deepfake Scams and Spoofing: A New Wave of Cyber Threats


In our hyper-connected digital world, cyber threats are evolving alarmingly. Two such threats, gaining notoriety for their cunning sophistication, are deep fake scams and spoofing. As end users, it’s crucial to understand these threats and learn how to spot them, preventing cybercriminals from infringing upon our digital lives.

Deepfakes, a potent blend of ‘deep learning’ and ‘fake’, refer to creating hyper-realistic, synthetic audio or video materials using artificial intelligence (AI). Meanwhile, spoofing entails masquerading as a trustworthy entity in electronic communication, often by manipulating caller ID or email address information.

So, how can you, as an end user, identify and guard against such complex threats? Here are some practical steps:

1. Understand the Technology: Familiarize yourself with the concepts of deepfakes and spoofing. Knowing how they work can help you be more critical of the digital content you encounter.

2. Scrutinize Unexpected Communications: Be wary of unexpected phone calls or emails, especially if they ask for personal information or instruct you to perform financial transactions. Always verify such requests independently.

3. Be Skeptical of Too-good-to-be-true Content: If you encounter a video or audio clip that seems outlandish or too good (or bad) to be true, there’s a chance it is a deep fake.

4. Check for Inconsistencies: Deepfakes and spoofed emails often contain small inconsistencies. In a video or audio deepfake, the person’s voice might not match their usual tone or speech pattern. Look for odd formatting, strange email addresses, or unusual language in spoofed emails.

5. Use Security Software: Install reliable security software with features like anti-phishing and anti-spoofing. These can alert you to suspicious content.

6. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Wherever possible, enable MFA. It’s an added line of defence that can significantly decrease the chances of a successful attack.

7. Report Suspected Scams: If you suspect you’ve encountered a deep fake scam or spoofing attempt, report it to the appropriate authorities. This could include your workplace’s IT department or your country’s cybercrime reporting centre.

Remember, in the face of advancing Technology, human vigilance remains a vital defence against cyber threats. With awareness and proactive steps, end users can significantly minimize risk and securely navigate the digital world.