The Threat of Deepfake-Enabled Blackmail

Recently, we’ve seen rapid advancements in deepfake technology. This tech allows people to create very realistic fake videos and images. Sadly, it’s also being misused for harmful activities like sextortion scams. In these scams, criminals use deepfakes to create fake adult content featuring their victims. They then use this material to blackmail victims for money or more explicit content.

What is Deepfake Technology?

Deepfake technology uses artificial intelligence, or AI, to create lifelike fake videos and images. This is done by training an AI tool with lots of real videos or images. The AI then uses this training to make new content that looks and sounds like the real thing. While deepfakes can be used for innocent purposes, like special effects in movies, they can also be misused for harmful purposes, such as creating fake adult content.

Real Cases of Deepfake-Enabled Blackmail

The FBI recently warned that there are increasing reports of deepfakes being used in blackmail scams. In one case, a woman in California was targeted by a criminal who used deepfake tech to make a fake adult video of her. The criminal threatened to release the video unless she paid him $2,000.

Mind Games in Blackmail Scams

Blackmail scams use mind games to frighten and control their victims. Criminals often use fear, shame, and embarrassment to force their victims into giving money or sharing more explicit content. They might also pretend to be a friend or family member to win the trust of their victims.

What to Do if You’re a Victim

If you’re a victim of blackmail, it’s crucial to act fast. The FBI advises victims to report the crime to local law enforcement and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Victims should also avoid paying any money or sharing any more explicit content with the criminal, as this only encourages them to continue their bad behaviour.

Protecting Yourself from Deepfake-Enabled Blackmail

To keep yourself safe from deepfake-enabled blackmail, be careful about what you share on the internet. Don’t share personal photos or videos with strangers, and think twice before you post on social media. Be suspicious of messages or friend requests from people you don’t know, as these might be from criminals targeting you. Also, consider using a trusted antivirus or anti-malware program to protect your devices from malware and other threats.

Interactive video

Watch the interactive video, try the activities, to strengthen your understanding of deepfake-enabled blackmail.


FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) Alert on Deepfake-Enabled Blackmail

FBI Warns of Hackers Using AI to Make Fake Nudes from Social Media Photos

What Are Deepfakes? How to Spot and Prevent Fake Videos

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