Kerala man loses INR 40,000 to deepfake work colleague 

Occurred: July 2023

Kerala, India, resident PS Radhakrishnan was defrauded of INR 40,000 after scammers used deepfake technologies to impersonate a former work colleague at Coal India seeking money for his sister's surgery on a WhatsApp video call

73 year-old Radhakrishnan told the Hindustan Times that he had received a call from an anonymous number, followed by messages on WhatsApp from the same number with the person identifying himseld as Radhakrishnan’s former colleague at Coal India Ltd. 

'We had worked together for nearly four decades and I knew him well. The display picture was his photo. He asked about my daughter and where she worked. We texted for some time during which he shared his family photographs and asked about our common colleagues,' he said. 

'Seconds later, he called and looked exactly like my former colleague,' he added. 'Even though only his face was visible, it was clear. His lips and eyes moved like any normal person as we talked in English. The call lasted just 25 seconds before it got cut. He later came back on a voice call and spoke about the urgency for money. I didn’t ask any more questions and transferred the money.'

Police have since traced Radhakrishnan's money to an account in Maharashtra. The incident constitutes the first known case of a deepfake scam in India.

System 🤖


Country: India

Sector: Private - individual, family

Purpose: Defraud

Technology: Deepfake - audio, video; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Identity theft/impersonation

Transparency: Governance; Marketing

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: July 2023