Campaign aims to fend off AI deepfake scams
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Campaign aims to fend off AI deepfake scams

Campaign aims to fend off AI deepfake scams
Suspects were arrested in November last year for allegedly setting up a call scam in Thailand, cheating Japanese victims out of 9 billion baht. (Photo: Royal Thai Police)

People are increasingly being threatened by artificial intelligence (AI) deepfakes that impersonate identities and collect personal information, often calling people with the voice of an acquaintance to defraud victims more easily.

Thai victims of all scams in 2023 tallied 217,047 per day. The total damage accumulated was over 53.9 billion baht, said Titinun Suttinaraphan, regional marketing director of Southeast Asia for Gogolook, the owner of the Whoscall app.

The Whoscall app identifies unknown incoming calls and prevents spam on smartphones.

Whoscall, in collaboration with the government and private sector, on Wednesday launched a national agenda campaign called "Save Friends From Fraud", in a bid to help Thailand save 28 billion baht from fraud this year.

Ms Titinun said last year 63% of text messages received by Thais were spam and fraudulent messages. Thailand ranks the highest in Asia for receiving scam SMS transmissions, she said.

Scams come in various forms, such as phishing users to log in to fake websites or applications, particularly those related to financial transactions, which account for the highest percentage at 27%.

Other common scams include tricking users into downloading dangerous programs or applications, making up 20%, and luring them to fake online shopping pages, accounting for 8%.

According to the Whoscall additional report for 2023, there were numerous cases of scams globally, including incoming calls and text messages, totalling 347.3 million cases.

For Thai victims of scams, the statistics showed up to 217,047 individuals affected daily.

Thais received roughly 20.8 million scam calls and over 58.3 million fraudulent text messages, marking a significant increase from 2022, with a 21% rise in scam calls and a 17% increase in scam text messages.

"Fraudsters are now applying advanced AI deepfake technology to impersonate identities and collect personal information for further use. It's imperative that all Thais stand together against this pervasive threat," said Ms Titinun.

She said the Whoscall app is free to download for general features, with total downloads growing 30% year-on-year. The premium version of the app costs 59 baht per month or 599 baht per year.

Manwoo Joo, chief operating officer of Gogolook, said Whoscall launched the latest campaign with partners from all sectors to drive the fraud issue forward as a national agenda.

It includes providing tech tools to be a safety shield for the public and giving away more than 3 million Whoscall Premium codes through various activities of partners participating in this campaign for up to six months, totalling more than 1 billion baht.

Activities will start this month.

The company introduced an ID security feature earlier this year, empowering users to check if their phone numbers have fallen prey to the dark web.

In 2024, Whoscall has set a goal to help the nation reduce property loss by 28 billion baht from scammers and to elevate the issue of scamming to a national agenda.

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