Deepfake scams – what to do


The last 12-18 months has seen deepfake scams emerge as a new disturbing challenge to our privacy and security – where malicious actors use advanced AI to create convincing yet entirely fabricated images and videos.

If you’ve been targeted by a deepfake scam, don’t panic. Our guide will navigate you through the necessary steps to regain control and have those manipulated images swiftly removed.

Step 1: Gather Comprehensive Documentation

If you discover or suspect a deepfake scam involving your images, start by compiling evidence. Capture screenshots and save links to the fake content. Maintaining a record of these images is crucial for reporting the incident to relevant platforms and authorities effectively.

Step 2: Confirm the Source

Before proceeding, and if you feel comfortable to do so, try verifying the authenticity of the images in question. Reach out to close friends or family who are familiar with you and ask for their assessment of the images. Sometimes, misinformation can spread, leading to the mistaken identification of genuine images as deepfakes.

Step 3: Report to Social Media Platforms

If the manipulated images are being circulated on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, take immediate action to report the content. Major social media platforms prioritize user safety and privacy. Locate options like “Report,” “Flag,” or “Inappropriate Content” on the post or the user’s profile. Adhere to the platform’s reporting procedure and provide thorough details about the incident.

Step 4: Engage with the appropriate authorities

In cases where the deepfake images are malicious or have caused harm to your reputation, involving law enforcement is advisable. Reach out to the Police and provide them with the evidence you’ve collected. They can guide you through the appropriate measures to start legal proceedings against the individuals responsible for creating or disseminating the manipulated content.

Step 5: Consult Legal Professionals

If the impact of the deepfake images has been significant, consulting legal experts is a prudent step. They can offer insights into potential legal remedies against the perpetrators. Although the laws around deepfake scams are still evolving, legal professionals possess the expertise to navigate your available options.

Step 6: Contact Hosting Websites

If the fake images are on websites, blogs, or forums (as opposed to just on social media), directly contacting the website administrators is a sensible course of action. Look for sections such as “Contact Us” or “Report Abuse” on the respective website. Clearly outline the situation and back up your claim with evidence. Reputable websites typically have procedures in place to address such issues.

Step 7: Safeguard Your Online Presence

Prevention is the ultimate defence. While it’s really difficult to stop the creation of deepfake images before it happens, you can proactively protect your online presence. Adjust your privacy settings on social media platforms to control access to and sharing of your images. Exercise caution when sharing personal details and images with unfamiliar connections.

There is no doubt that deepfake scams can be distressing. However, by taking the right steps, you have the power to regain control. Document evidence, report to social media platforms, involve law enforcement as needed, seek legal counsel, and directly contact website administrators for removal.

By taking proactive steps to safeguard your online presence, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to deepfake scams in the future. 

You might also consider our very low-cost cyberSOS:respond plus plan for just £2.99/month which has within it, access to both a Cyber Legal Advice Helpline to help you with legal aspects, and a Cyber Counselling Service should any such images cause you anxiety or distress.

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