Valentine’s Day Alert: Deepfakes and GenAI Boost Romance Scams In India, Warn Researcher

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New Delhi: With Valentine’s Day approaching, cyber-security researchers revealed on Monday that romance scams are surging in India, with 66 percent of individuals in India falling victim to online dating scams. In 2023, 43 percent of Indians experienced AI voice scams, with a staggering 83 percent of those targeted suffering financial losses. 

A fresh report from Tenable, the exposure management company, highlights a concerning trend: the evolution of romance scams, now blending traditional methods with sophisticated technologies such as generative AI and deepfakes.


The findings revealed that AI-generated deepfakes have reached such an advanced stage that more than two-thirds (69 percent) of Indians admit difficulty in distinguishing between AI-generated voices and real human voices. Scammers are now leveraging generative AI and deepfake technologies to create more convincing personas in romance scams. (Also Read: AI-Powered Smart Pen Turns Handwriting Into Digital Notes Instantly; Check More Features)

Chris Boyd, a staff research engineer at Tenable, said that “I strongly advocate for heightened vigilance when coerced away from established platforms into private conversations, where the protective layers of the initial site are forfeited. Regardless of the involvement of generative AI or deepfakes, the watchword is caution”. 

The report also highlighted the prevalence of celebrity impersonations in these scams, with older demographics being particularly targeted. These fraudulent activities often commence on platforms such as Facebook, exploiting victims’ trust and sense of security.

Furthermore, the report identified a troubling trend where scammers frequently prey on older individuals, especially those who are widowed or suffer from memory loss, adding to the complexity and severity of the issue.”

According to researchers, requests for money from newfound connections should sound immediate alarm bells. It’s crucial to scrutinise photographs and videos that deliberately conceal background details, hindering online verification, they advised. (Also Read: Why Is Google’s Bard AI Chatbox Renamed Gemini? Know Features Of Gemini Advanced And Availability)

“Awareness and vigilance are our best defences against these heartless manipulations, ensuring that love seekers don’t fall victim to the tangled web of AI-enhanced deception,” said Boyd. (With Inputs From IANS)

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