Deepfakes and crypto scams are on the rise

The first quarter of 2022 has seen a rise in cybercriminals deceiving victims through new deepfakes and crypto scams to gain access to their financial or personal information.

The latest quarterly Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report from Norton Labs reveals deepfakes — computer-generated images and videos — are on the rise and being utilized by bad actors to spread disinformation.

The Norton Labs team has spotted deepfakes being used to create fake social media profiles and spread propaganda as part of the ongoing war in Ukraine, but also for less malicious intent, like creating funny videos.

Crypto scams are also increasing in popularity as cryptocurrency becomes more widely adopted by consumers. Norton Labs tracked over $29 million in bitcoin stolen in 2021 and expects this figure to continue to rise in 2022 as the crypto market’s value increases. Crypto scammers often capitalize on world events — most recently using the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine to steal donations from philanthropic crypto investors.

“Scammers are always evolving their tactics, from using cutting-edge technology to make deepfakes, to stealing new forms of payment, like crypto,” says Darren Shou, head of technology at NortonLifeLock. “Cybercriminals are master manipulators, so it’s crucial for consumers to be aware of the latest scams and to critically analyze anything suspicious they encounter on the internet, whether on social media or in their inbox.”

From January to March this year Norton blocked 16.3 million phishing attempts, 78.9 million file threats, 227,000 mobile threats and 86,000 ransomware attacks.

You can read more on the Norton blog.

Image credit: dkcreative/depositphotos.com

Author: Martha Meyer