With the development of the digital world, new terms entered our lives. These terms include catfishing and deepfake. Digital fraud methods are also increasing with the developing technology. ‘Catfishing’ is defined as defrauding people, often looking for romantic relationships, by creating a virtual fake profile. A study for UK Finance, which represents the banking and financial industry in the UK, found that there was a 20 percent increase in such romantic scams involving money transfers between January and November 2020 compared to the previous year.
“Deepfake” technology, on the other hand, allows the production of fake videos with high realism, talking, smiling or using facial expressions from a face photo or painting, as well as modifying and editing the speech in any video.
Cagil Kasapoglu from BBCTurk shared a very striking story on this subject. Here’s a part of a digital scam story that covers all these terms:
-French filmmaker Yzabel Dzisky, created by transforming an existing person’s video into someone else’s image “deepfake” fell in love with the account, that is, a fake profile.
-The person in question calls himself a surgeon who lives in Los Angeles but plans to move to France soon. “Tony” (Colby) and they started to meet in digital environment. “He was talking about his own life, and I was talking about mine,” Dzisky said. Interestingly, the names of our dogs and our daughters were very similar. “Women love coincidences, and I found that very romantic,” she says.
-It took a video call on a larger screen for Yzabel to realize she was looking at a deepfake. They kept in touch via text and short video calls until Tony suddenly stopped responding, without giving any reason.
-When he finally answered, he said that his name was Murat (the BBC didn’t give the doctor’s real name, so Murat was used): He said he was Turkish and lived in Istanbul.
I FOUND ON THE INTERNET, HE WAS A FAMOUS TURKISH DOCTOR
-Dzisky, “I googled him, there was a lot of stuff about him. I could see photos and Turkish videos. It was everywhere, even on TV. I have no doubts about him, he was a real man and a well-known surgeon.” says.
SENT 200 EURO
The two continued to talk. After a while, the so-called doctor said that he went to Shanghai, he asked for 3 thousand euros because his credit card did not work. Although Dzisky was suspicious, he sent 200 euros.
-The so-called doctor said he will go to Paris in 3 days. When Dzisky went to the airport, there was no incoming or outgoing. While he was skeptical, “I saw him on video calls, it was real. My friends have seen it too, my children have seen it. It couldn’t be real” says.
A few days later, Murat wanted to talk again. Yzabel said she wanted to see him on a bigger screen this time, and they talked over the computer. However, the picture was very bad. He needed an expert opinion and a video editor friend helped him out. Made him watch an “Obama Deepfake” video on YouTube.
NIGERIAN IS 20 YEARS OLD
When they spoke again, he asked her who are you. However, a surprising answer came: He said his name was David, a 20-year-old hacker from Nigeria. He said that they make a lot of money from scammers, they have a very wide network. We even had a video call. He said he was rich with these fake accounts and wanted to become a football player and study in Canada.
Yzabel came to Turkey after the incident. She met with Murat, the real surgeon whose phone she found on the Internet.
The surgeon interviewed by the BBC says they are trying to warn people about fake accounts created on his behalf. Yzabel was not the first person to reach the surgeon who had such an experience.