A deepfake video of FTX founder Sam Bankman Fried (SBF) did the rounds on Twitter over the weekend, where Bankman-Fried appeared to tell already-embattled FTX investors that they could “double their cryptocurrency” in a giveaway.
“Hello everyone. As you know our FTX exchange is going bankrupt, but I hasten to inform all users that you should not panic. As compensation for the loss we have prepared a giveaway for you, in which you can double your cryptocurrency. To do this, just go to the site ftxcompensation.com,” said a slightly glitchy version of Bankman-Fried.
To make matters worse, the SBF deepfake came from an account that was using one of Elon’s masterfully deployed US$8 ‘blue ticks’ to impersonate Bankman-Fried’s official Twitter convincingly.
The user responsible for the impersonation, ‘S4GE_ETH was suspended a few hours after the video went semi-viral. The video itself appears to be footage from an older interview with Bankman-Fried that has been modified with new dialogue through relatively advanced deepfake methods.
The scammer used artificial intelligence software to slightly alter the original footage to create realistic-looking facial movements to match the added audio. While the new voice bears a resemblance to Bankman-Fried’s real one, it carries a more robotic tone and speaks in a more stunted fashion.
The FTX scam website has been removed
The ‘ftxcompensation’ website was live up until approximately 2 hours ago. It featured a blurry photo of Bankman-Fried and promised to give away up to US$100 million worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The strange, semi-broken English from the original SBF deepfake was also present on the website, where it claimed the following, “We sympathize with everyone who has been affected by our FTX exchange… We decided to run a 5,000 BTC & 50,000 ETH giveaway for all crypto holders!”
The website has since been taken down.
Even in the lowly world of scam artists, pursuing victims a second time around is particularly rough. The bankruptcy filing for FTX revealed that the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange currently owes money to more than 1 million investors around the world.
The Chainsaw recently reached out to a number of Australians who were unfortunate enough to have some funds stuck on the FTX platform, with Aussie users revealing that they’d lost sums of cash ranging from US$3k all the way up to US$40k.