February 24, 2024

As scammers continue incorporating artificial intelligence into their schemes, Albertans are being warned to be wary of celebrity endorsements that may be fake.

On Wednesday, the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) released its top three investment scams to look out for in 2024.

On it was a caution about celebrity and athlete endorsements on social media, which can be phoney.

Even if you see a video of a superstar praising an investment opportunity, it could be an artificially generated fake video, known as a deepfake, made without the celebrity having knowledge or involvement about it.

Even if it’s not a deepfake, the ASC says you still shouldn’t be too trusting.

“Regardless of how convincing they look or sound, actors, models, athletes, politicians or entrepreneurs are not automatically reliable or qualified sources of financial advice,” said spokesperson Hilary McMeekin in a Wednesday news release.

“Endorsements are never a guarantee of legitimacy or investment returns.”

Romance scams

In addition to celebrity and athlete endorsements and social media deepfakes, the ASC says romance scams are heating up.

According to the organization, dating app fraud and romance scams have seen a significant uptick in recent years.

“In Alberta, there were 70 reports of romance scams with losses exceeding $2.6 million in 2023, though the actual figure is believed to be much larger as many do not report being a victim out of embarrassment or…

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