WPP CEO impersonated in deepfake scam

Occurred: April 2024

The CEO of the world largest marketing services group was targeted by an elaborate scam involving voice cloning in an attempt to solicit money and personal details from the company’s workforce.

WPP CEO Mark Read’s image and voice were stolen by fraudsters, who created a WhatsApp account seemingly belonging to him and used it to set up a Microsoft Teams meeting that appeared to be with him and another senior WPP executive. During the meeting, the impostors deployed a deepfake video and voice clone of Read the executive as well as YouTube footage of them.

The scammers also tried using the meeting’s chat function to impersonate Read and target a fellow WPP executive by asking them to set up a new business and hand over money and other personal details, according to the Guardian. 

While the attacks were not successful, the incidents were seen to highlight the many tools that scammers now have at their disposal to impersonate high-profile individuals for fraudulent purposes. 

System 🤖

Country: UK
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Defraud
Technology: Deepfake - audio, video
Issue: Fraud
Transparency: Governance; Marketing