AI-generated video spots featuring the likeness of Taylor Swift endorsing a fake Le Creuset cookware giveaway have duped some fans into buying into the scam, the New York Times reported.
While Swift may be a fan of Le Creuset, she has no official marketing ties to the company. But ads permeating Facebook and other social media platforms would have you think otherwise.
The woman seen in the faux promotional video is neither Swift, nor even a real person. Instead, artificial intelligence has been used to replicate the singer’s voice and appearance to create a convincing replication known as “deepfake.” Scammers create this type of synthetic content with machine learning software to create fake footage of public figures using authentic video and audio clips of them, which are abundant and easy to come by online.
“Hey y’all, it’s Taylor Swift here,” the deepfake replica of Swift says in the video. “Due to a packaging error, we can’t sell 3,000 Le Creuset cookware sets. So I’m giving them away to my loyal fans for free.”
Users are directed by the AI-generated woman to click a button below the ad to complete a survey, and to do so immediately “as supplies are running out.”
It’s unclear who is behind the scams. A Facebook account called “The most profitable shares” was one poster of the Swift-inspired scam.
Le Creuset did not immediately respond to CBS MoneyWatch’s request for comment.
Swift does indeed appear to be a fan of the high-end cookware brand’s wares. Le Creuset shared an image from Swift’s Netflix documentary, “Miss Americana,” showing Swift in her kitchen using the brand’s round dutch oven, which retails for up to $625.
A representatives for Swift did not immediately respond to CBS MoneyWatch’s request for comment.
To be sure, Swift isn’t the only celebrity target of social media swindlers. As artificial intelligence technology becomes more sophisticated, these types of deepfake scams are on the rise, the Better Business Bureau warned last April.
“Before you make a purchase, take a minute to reexamine the post and social media account,” the BBB said in a post. “The photos and videos are most likely fake. If you make a purchase, you’ll lose money (often more than you expected) on a product that is substandard or doesn’t exist.”
Actor Tom Hanks and CBS Mornings host Gayle King have both had their likenesses used to hawk products they don’t endorse.
King reposted a fake weight loss-related video from a company called Artipet on her own Instagram account with a statement saying she is in no way affiliated with the company or alleged product, and warning her followers not to “be fooled by these AI videos.”