Fraud and Security

Detecting Deepfakes in the Financial Sector: A Crucial Defense Against Digital Deception

May 8, 2024

Deepfakes, shallowfakes, cheapfakes. Cybercriminals are amongst us in many forms. Bad actors seemingly target every portion of our lives, from stealing an individual’s identity to faking a video of an influential leader. In fact, the United States is the leading target of cybercriminals, with 42% of such crimes being against Americans. The United Kingdom comes in at a distant second with only 10.3%. Earlier this year, a finance worker of a multinational firm paid out $25 million after he thought he was on a video call with the company’s chief financial officer and several colleagues. It turned out all the people he saw weren’t real at all, they were deepfake recreations.

Though difficult to grasp and frightening to consider, everyone is a potential target, and the financial sector is not immune to these threats. These sophisticated manipulations of audio, images, and video can have devastating consequences if undetected. Identifying deepfakes in the financial realm is paramount to maintaining trust, security, and integrity within the industry.

Here are some strategies to spot deepfakes online in the financial sector:

  1. Scrutinize Video Content: Videos are commonly used to convey financial information, whether it's corporate announcements, market analyses, or interviews with financial experts. Pay close attention to inconsistencies such as unnatural facial movements, mismatched lip-syncing, or erratic eye movements, which could indicate a deepfake.
  2. Verify the Source: Always verify the authenticity of the source providing financial information. Check the credibility of the website, social media account, or platform sharing the content. Deepfakes often originate from unverified sources or dubious platforms attempting to spread false information for malicious purposes.
  3. Assess Audio Quality: Deepfake technology is not limited to video; it can also manipulate audio recordings. Listen carefully for anomalies in voice tone, pitch, or pronunciation, especially in financial statements, earnings calls, or conference presentations. Use reputable sources or official channels for audio recordings to minimize the risk of encountering deepfakes.
  4. Cross-Reference Information: Compare financial data or statements provided in videos or audio recordings with information from trusted sources such as regulatory filings, official company announcements, or reputable financial news outlets.
  5. Analyze Background Details: Deepfake creators may overlook background elements such as lighting, shadows, or reflections, resulting in inconsistencies within the video or image. Pay attention to these subtle discrepancies, as they can reveal the artificial nature of the content.
  6. Use Technology Solutions: Employ advanced technology solutions specifically designed to detect deepfakes. AI-powered algorithms can analyze videos and images for inconsistencies, anomalies, or patterns indicative of manipulation. While not foolproof, these tools can serve as an additional layer of defense against deepfake threats in the financial sector.
  7. Stay Informed: Stay updated on the latest developments in deep-fake technology and detection methods. Awareness of emerging trends, techniques, and case studies can empower financial professionals to recognize and mitigate the risks associated with deepfakes effectively.
  8. Educate Stakeholders: Educate employees, clients, and stakeholders about the prevalence of deepfakes in the financial sector and the potential consequences of falling victim to misinformation. Encourage skepticism and critical thinking when consuming online financial content, fostering a culture of vigilance against digital deception.

By implementing these strategies, financial institutions, investors, and consumers can better protect themselves against the insidious threat of deepfakes. Vigilance, verification, and technological solutions are essential pillars in the defense against digital deception in the financial sector. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying ahead of deepfake threats is imperative to safeguarding trust, transparency, and stability in financial markets.


Source: OpenAI. (2024). ChatGPT (April 22, ChatGPT for Android, 1.2024.101); Oswald Companies, Deepfakes and Financial Fraud: How to Recognize it, Protect Yourself and Avoid it: Webinar Recap, April 11, 2024

Print & Download