Horrific Facebook message cost victim $500,000 – and it could happen to you – The Irish Sun

Scammers are using fake celebrity videos to trick thousands of people in their latest scam.

An elderly woman has reportedly lost around $500,000/£440,000 to someone posing as Hulk star Mark Ruffalo.

The scammer used a deepfake of Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo


The scammer used a deepfake of Hulk actor Mark RuffaloCredit: Rex Features

Japanese artist Chikae Ide was first approached on Facebook with flattery, a classic romantic scam.

The victim wanted proof that he was who he said he was, so they put together a video call.

In fact, the scammer had used a clever deepfake technology to look like the Hollywood star on webcam.

“I’m sure that Mark himself sat behind the screen and spoke to me,” Ide told the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shim Bun.

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“He respected my work and said that I, this old lady, am beautiful.

“He also said that the age difference is not a problem for him and that he wants to make me happy.”

The scammer mercilessly used Ide’s previous marriage to an abusive man to persuade her.

“I will never make you sad,” she recalled his words.

By September 2018, the couple was unofficially married online.

Soon after, the Fake Mark began asking for money.

“I missed a flight from New York to the West Coast because of my divorce case,” he apparently told her.

The demands for money kept coming, each time with a promise to pay her back.

To keep up with demand, she sold jewelry, delayed paying staff, and even used her eldest son’s savings.

Her daughter found out about the online romance in spring 2021 and eventually put a stop to it.

But by this point, Ide had lost a small fortune to her fake Mark lover.

She has now released a novel and comic based on her experiences in hopes of warning others.

“It was such a stupid experience,” Ide said.

“But I hope people take it as a lesson.

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“I apologize to my friends and acquaintances who loaned me money while I refused to listen to them.

“And I swear I’ll keep drawing manga until I die to pay them back.”

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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9511573/facebook-romance-scam-deepfake-mark-ruffalo/ Horrific Facebook message cost victim $500,000 – and it could happen to you – The Irish Sun

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