Business leader deep fakes aim to scam Facebook users

What was Claimed

Australian businesspeople are promoting a new investment scheme.

Our Verdict

False. The video is a scam and has been manipulated using artificial intelligence techniques.

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers appears alongside famous Australian businesspeople in the latest deep fake video intended to scam social media users.

The Facebook video purports to show Dr Chalmers, Gina Rinehart, Dick Smith and Andrew Forrest being interviewed by A Current Affair host Allison Langdon about a new investment opportunity.

This is false. Genuine clips from interviews and news reports have been manipulated using artificial intelligence.

It is just the latest in several scam videos (here, here, here and here) to feature manipulated footage of wealthy Australians as a way of legitimising supposed money-making schemes.

The post (screenshot here), which has been viewed more than 104,000 times, includes a link which encourages viewers to "learn more", but clicking on it loads a suspicious website.

A screenshot from the scam Facebook video.
The scam video has manipulated real interviews.

The video starts with Ms Langdon allegedly saying: “The government was shocked when they found out how much Australians are making from a program created by billionaires.

“Gina Rinehart, Dick Smith and Andrew Forrest in conjunction with the Australian treasury created an investment platform that guarantees a profit to all Australians who invest just $350.”

Dr Chalmers, Mrs Rinehart, Dr Forrest and Mr Smith appear together on a screen and the video cuts to interviews with each of them.

"The richest people in Australia came to me and asked me to help them create an investment platform that would guarantee profits for all investors," Dr Chalmers appears to say.

"I was happy to help. We’ve already submitted a report to parliament for the earnings from last month."

Australian businessman Dick Smith (file image)
Dick Smith has created his own video to expose the scams.

Mr Smith purports to spruik the scheme's legitimacy.

"We’ve put everything we’ve got into this project and we’re confident that it’s gonna be a winner," he says.

"The government support and our partners’ track records speak for themselves. So don’t be afraid to invest and start enjoying the fruits of your labour."

The altered video uses footage from an episode of A Current Affair from November 9, 2023, but the audio has been changed.

The clip of Mrs Rinehart is taken from a recorded message for St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls played at an assembly in 2021, marking its 125th anniversary.

Footage of Dr Forrest is taken from an October 2023 discussion at Rhodes House at the University of Oxford.

Australian businessman Andrew Forrest (file image)
Andrew Forrest has an AI-generated British accent in the video.

The scam video exhibits red flags previously explained to AAP FactCheck by an AI expert, particularly the speakers’ mouth movements not matching their speech.

Mr Smith has published a video on his YouTube channel exposing a similar deep fake.

"I’ve never, ever said those words. It’s all part of a scam, fraud ads that are on Facebook and Instagram to take your money," he said.

Hancock Prospecting previously issued a statement on investment scams.

"Mrs Rinehart … has not made the alleged investment or recommendations or quotes set forth in these false adverts," it states.

Hancock Prospecting boss Gina Rinehart (file image)
Gina Rinehart isn't promoting any investment schemes.


Treat posts appealing for help to find lost or found people or pets, offering extremely cheap or free products and services with caution if they include more than one of the following features:

* The person encourages everyone to share their post widely.

* They don’t provide their contact details or they ask people to send them a DM or PM (direct message or private message).

* The post includes only very vague details about the location of the person or pet, or the giveaway.

* If the account of the person posting is less than a year old, has no profile picture, has very few friends, or isn’t located in the same area as the subject of their post. This indicates their account is fake.

* If you can’t comment on the post because the person has disabled comments. This is done to stop people from warning others it’s a scam.

The Verdict

The claim Australian business leaders Gina Rinehart, Dick Smith and Andrew Forrest are promoting an investment opportunity alongside Treasurer Jim Chalmers is false.

Genuine video clips have been manipulated using AI technology to make it appear that they are promoting the scheme.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

AAP FactCheck is an accredited member of the International Fact-Checking Network. To keep up with our latest fact checks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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