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A scammer paid Facebook’s parent company $7,000 to reach up to 100,000 people in Australia with a deepfake A Current Affair video featuring altered versions of Jim Chalmers, Dick Smith, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart, data reveals.

Smith issued a warning to the public earlier this week after a video began circulating on Facebook and Instagram in recent weeks. The video was designed to appear like a segment on A Current Affair, featuring host Ally Langdon seemingly interviewing the treasurer and the rich listers about an investment opportunity.

It is the latest iteration of the celebrity scam investment ads that have plagued social media sites and Google’s AdWords for years. The previous version used photographs linked to fake news pages, but the current ads use deepfake videos that not only match the images of the people they are faking, but also replicate their voices.

In the video, the fake Chalmers claims the government has gone as far as tabling a report in parliament talking about the success of a particular investment, which is in fact a scam. It claims the “government guarantees and recommendations from the treasury! Start with $349 and withdraw $7,200 every week!”.

Smith said on his website: “It is totally fraudulent. The scammers have made up the voice and lip-synced to make it look genuine.

“Do not open it and do not send any money. It is a scam.”

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