Deepfake MrBeast iPhone giveaway scam

Occurred: October 2023

An advert of YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson (aka MrBeast) offering free iPhone 15 smartphones on TikTok was exposed as a deepfake scam.

The fake ad claimed that MrBeast had selected 10,000 people to receive an iPhone 15 Pro in exchange 'for just USD 2'; those interested were then encouraged to click a link below the video to participate. 

The ad was exposed as fraudulent by MrBeast, who took to Twitter to say 'Lots of people are getting this deepfake scam ad of me… are social media platforms ready to handle the rise of AI deepfakes? This is a serious problem.' 

The latest in a series of fraud attempts involving celebrities manipulated using synthetic media, the incident raised concerns about the volume and nature of deepfake impersonations. TikTok also came under fire for its apparent inability to properly moderate its platform.


Country: USA

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Defraud

Technology: Deepfake - video, audio; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Safety - fraud

Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: October 2023