- An Elon Musk deepfake has surfaced soliciting investment to a Bitcoin fund
- The video is an impressive rendering, let down only by the voice
- Crypto scams are getting more and more sophisticated
A deepfake video in which Elon Musk tells an interviewer on stage that his new investment program can guarantee investors 30% every day is a troubling portent of what is to come in the world of crypto scams. The video, which is visually effective but is let down by the quality of the audio, nevertheless points the way for how scammers will use impersonations of celebrities to hoodwink unsuspecting crypto holders in the future as the technology develops, making the Twitter scams that used to scoop up holders’ money look like the work of children.
Musk Video Highlights Advancing Deepfake Technology
Deepfake technology is still in its infancy, with huge resources needed to make effective videos, but it is already many times easier, quicker, and cheaper to do so now than just a couple of years ago. This is exemplified by the Musk video, where everything but the audio is very convincing:
Elon Musk’s deep fake video promoting a new cryptocurrency scam going viral. The video claims that the trading platform is owned by Elon Musk, and offers 30% returns on crypto deposits. @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/iJeUvHYc5p
— DogeDesigner (@cb_doge) May 24, 2022
If it wasn’t for the robotic nature of the voice and the stilted tone (which, to be fair, some might consider indistinguishable from the real thing anyway), the clip would be a convincing representation of Elon Musk, which would undoubtedly have convinced some to part with the requested bitcoin in the hopes of getting more back in return, and indeed may already have.
Crypto Scams Can Still be Easily Identified
The only way to combat even the most technologically advanced scams is to take away the message and the format and look at the principle behind it – is someone trying to get you to give them something and guaranteeing that you will get more back? If so, then it’s a scam, pure and simple.
Even if they’re not ‘promising’, you still need to ask yourself whether the principle holds true – does Elon Musk, of all people, need your bitcoin? Tesla has billions of dollars worth, and if Elon Musk needed more bitcoin, he would go out and buy it. Is it really likely that he is going to announce a Bitcoin investment vehicle on stage in a clip that is totally out of context with the rest of the interview and has no other external references?
In a world where the sophistication of scams is increasing, the only way to safeguard yourself is to critically evaluate the premise being suggested and conduct supplementary investigation, rather than simply throwing your bitcoin at your favorite celebrity.