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Hong Kong Crypto Exchange Used Deepfake To Show Elon Musk Was Its Developer, Securities Watchdog Says

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The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a warning that a group called Quantum AI is using deepfake videos and photographs of Elon Musk to trick people into thinking he developed the platform’s software.

“Quantum AI claims to provide cryptocurrency trading services with its underlying artificial intelligence (AI) technology,” the SFC said in a statement. “The SFC suspects that Quantum AI uses AI-generated deepfake videos and photos of Mr Elon Musk on its website and through social media to deceive the public that Mr Musk is the developer of Quantum AI’s underlying technology.”

The SFC said it also suspects that Quantum AI may have used a ”news” website to disseminate false and misleading information about itself and promote its cryptocurrency trading services to the Hong Kong public. The company claimed on that website that the Hong Kong public has been using its technology to trade in cryptocurrencies and earn “too-good-to-be-true” returns, the regulator said.

The Hong Kong Police Force has taken steps to block access to the website of Quantum AI and taken down relevant social media pages, as requested by the SFC, the watchdog added.

“Notwithstanding the action taken, the public should beware that scammers may continue to create websites and social media pages with similar domain names,” the regulator said.

The SFC also posted the websites on its Suspicious Virtual Asset Trading Platforms Alert List on May 8.

This group is not to be confused with NASA’s Quantum AI Lab, which focuses on the research of quantum computing.

What is AI? What does artificial intelligence do? - BBC Newsround

Deepfake Technology Being Exploited To Promote Scams

With artificial technology (AI) advancing at a rapid pace, adequate measures preventing the malicious use of the technology are still being developed and implemented. Scammers are subsequently exploiting AI and deepfakes to defraud investors out of their hard-earned money.

A notorious group in Nigeria by the name of “The Yahoo Boys” has been using the technology to carry out a number of successful romance scams. Now, the creators of the Hong Kong scam are now exploiting the technology.

They claim that their crypto trading services are backed by advanced AI models. However, authorities have flagged the operation as a possible front for fraudulent activities related to digital assets.

Authorities have also highlighted three websites and two Facebook pages that were used to carry out scams by the Hong Kong-based group. 

Michael Saylor And MicroStrategy Also Targeted

Tech billionaire Musk is not the only big name to make a deepfake appearance. Michael Saylor recently warned of AI scams linked to his company, MicroStrategy. Saylor sounded the alarm on X about the surge in AI-enhanced deepfake scams.

Designed to swindle crypto from unsuspecting victims, these scams include highly convincing fake content. The MicroStrategy founder said that his team takes down “about 80 fake” AI-generated videos on YouTube every day.

Saylor urged his followers not to trust the promotions and giveaways pushed by the videos, and to always verify their legitamicy before considering participation.

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