Five surefire ways you can safeguard your business against deepfake fraud scams


Deepfake technology, fuelled by the explosion in artificial intelligence (AI), has become a potent tool for scammers. It allows them to convincingly replicate a person’s appearance and mimic their voice with access to mere minutes of video footage. The consequences of falling victim to these deceptive tactics can be severe, ranging from financial losses to irreparable damage to your reputation.

The Arup Incident: A costly lesson

Earlier this year, the engineering titan Arup fell prey to an elaborate deepfake scam. Fraudsters created a digital clone of a senior manager and used it to order financial transfers during a video conference, resulting in a staggering loss of over £20 million. Such incidents underscore the urgency of understanding and countering this emerging threat.

The challenge of authenticity

With deepfake software in play, distinguishing between what’s authentic and what’s fraudulent has become increasingly difficult. As business leaders, how can we protect ourselves from falling into the scammers’ trap? Here are JW Hinks’ top five tips for protecting your business from this disturbing emergent threat:

1. Educate your team

It’s crucial to train your employees properly. Raise awareness about deepfakes and instil a sense of hypervigilance. Encourage scepticism when faced with unusual requests. Remember, not everything we see on the internet is trustworthy. Contrary to common belief, deepfakes extend beyond videos; they can also be created using photos and audio, so if there are photos and audio recordings of a person in public, it is possible to create a deepfake of them.

2. Spotting red flags

It is absolutely vital to teach your team how to recognise warning signs:

  • Spelling and Grammar: Mistakes in written communication can be revealing.
  • Inconsistencies: Unnatural facial movements, mismatched audio, or deviations from previous interactions may indicate a deepfake.
  • Source Verification: Be cautious of video or audio content from suspicious or unknown origins.

3. Leverage detection systems

To combat deepfakes, consider using detection systems. While not infallible, these tools analyse patterns and identify potential manipulation. Remember, even the human eye isn’t perfect, but technology continues to improve.

4. Strengthen verification processes

For high-value transactions, implement robust verification processes. Multi-layered authentication and secure channels for confirming requests can make it harder for scammers to impersonate individuals.

5. Stay informed and report

As technology evolves, so do the tactics of scammers. Stay updated on the latest fraud schemes and learn from others’ experiences. If you encounter suspicious activity, promptly report it to the relevant authorities and alert your team.

Conclusion: vigilance is key

Deepfake threats are growing more sophisticated. Don’t risk financial repercussions by falling for a scam. The overarching common point in all of the measures you can take to protect yourself is this: stay vigilant. Be proactive, and committed to safeguarding your business.

If you think your business may have been the victim of fraud, through the use of deepfakes or otherwise, contact JW Hinks on 0121 456 0190. Our team of experts can help to ensure that you take the correct steps to mitigate damage to your finances and reputation, and check that you have appropriate measures in place to protect from future threats.

Get in touch

JW Hinks LLP
19 Highfield Road, Edgbaston,
Birmingham B15 3BH

Phone: +44 (0) 121 456 0190
Fax: +44 (0) 121 456 0191