‘Beware: Martin Lewis alerts public to the emergence of first-ever ‘deepfake’ scam ad propagating on Facebook’

To witness the alarming rise of AI-generated deepfakes and the sophisticated deception they enable, take a look at this clip featuring Martin Lewis, a prominent consumer finance advocate from the UK, allegedly endorsing an investment opportunity supported by Elon Musk.

But here’s the catch: the video footage, which is also embedded in the tweet below, is a deepfake created by artificial intelligence, and the investment opportunity is actually a scam not endorsed by Musk or Lewis. Lewis himself never appears in advertisements to support third-party products or services, though scammers persistently misuse his image in social media ads to deceive people into giving away their money.

According to Lewis, who discussed the deepfake during an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB), the video of him promoting the investment scam has been circulating on Facebook. He is extremely angry about this, especially since he previously sued Facebook for allowing scam ads featuring his image and achieved some changes in how the platform operates. Lewis settled the defamation suit against Facebook in 2019 with some concessions from the company.

Lewis believes that this deepfake video is the first of its kind and is deeply concerned about its implications. He emphasized the need for proper regulation of scam advertisements, a cause he has been championing for years.

While Lewis settled his lawsuit against Facebook, the problem of scam ads remains prevalent, with Brits losing a significant amount of money to fraud and financial scams every year. Meanwhile, Facebook’s parent company Meta generates enormous revenue from its ad-targeting tools, which scammers exploit to ensure their deceptive messages reach vulnerable users. Meta claims to proactively remove such ads and even removed numerous copycat ads featuring Lewis’ image, but it did not provide a satisfactory explanation for how the scam involving the deepfake was able to be uploaded to the platform.

In addition to holding Facebook/Meta accountable, Lewis also criticized the UK government for its inadequate response to the issue of scam ads. Despite consultations and revisions to legislation, the Online Safety Bill has not been passed yet, leaving UK web users vulnerable to the weak enforcement of ad platforms’ terms and conditions.

Lewis urged viewers to remember that every time they see one of these ads, the Big Tech firms are being paid to promote them, and these ads have the potential to ruin people’s lives, both vulnerable and non-vulnerable individuals alike.

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