‘Deepfake’ clickbait scamming would-be investors

Fake news and ‘deepfake’ videos of celebrities and public figures appearing to promote online investment platforms are increasing on social media.

‘Deepfakes’ are lifelike impersonations of real people, created by artificial intelligence (AI).

Scammers create ads and fake news articles to make you believe the celebrities actually use these scam investment platforms.

The platforms claim to use AI and other technologies like quantum computing to create high profits for investors.

How to spot the scam

  • You see an article or video on social media about a celebrity or public figure who appears to promote an investment platform they say they’ve made a lot of money on.
  • These trading platforms include the names ‘Quantum AI’, ‘Immediate Edge’, ‘Immediate Connect’, ‘Immediate X3’, and ‘Quantum Trade Wave’.

How the scam works

  • Scammers use social media ads, ‘deepfake’ videos and fake news articles (‘clickbait’) about celebrities and public figures claiming to make big profits from online trading platforms.
  • Links to these scam platforms take you to a website where you’re asked to sign up to the platform.
  • After you submit the form, the scammer (pretending to be an account manager) calls you, telling you to pay around $250 to access the platform.
  • They tell you to download a cryptocurrency app so you can ‘invest’ more.
  • Using an online dashboard that appears to show small profits, scammers persuade you to invest more. They may let you take out a small amount of money to gain your trust.
  • When you try to withdraw your funds, they demand withdrawal fees or mention tax issues to access your money. You may be locked out of your account. You won’t get your money back.

Protect yourself

STOP – Don’t give personal information or act on investment advice you have come across on social media. Don’t feel pressured to invest. If you have any doubts, stop communicating with them. For more information about reducing the risk of investment scams, visit ASIC’s Moneysmart website.

THINK – Ask yourself if you really know what you are investing in? Scammers can create fake news to make it seem legitimate. Do an internet search to see if it’s an online investment trading platform scam.

PROTECT – Act quickly if something feels wrong. If you have shared financial information or transferred money, contact your bank immediately. Help others by reporting scams to Scamwatch.

If you’ve been affected

If you think you’re involved in an investment scam or you’ve experienced cybercrime and lost money online, contact your bank immediately.

For crisis support to help with emotional distress about scams, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or use their online chat.

Beyond Blue also provides support for anxiety and depression: call them on 1300 224 636. You can also chat online through their website.

Help others by making a report to Scamwatch. You can make your report without sharing your name.

Who is the National Anti-Scam Centre?

We’re a specialised team within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that launched on 1 July 2023.

Our aim is to make Australia a harder target for scammers.

For more information about how to avoid or report a scam, visit the Scamwatch website.

Copyright © 2024 ACCC, All rights reserved.

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Sofie Korac is an Authorised Representative (No. 400164) of Prudentia Financial Planning Pty Ltd, AFSL 544118 and a member of the Association of Financial Advisers.

Financial Advice Sydney and the North Shore Office based in Gordon NSW

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