Fraudsters manipulate TV news to deceive the public

Fraudsters manipulate TV news to deceive the public

Several Australian TV news clips have been manipulated to legitimize online scams.

The last few weeks AAP FactCheck has debunked several such clips (see here, here and here). But in recent days the numbers have increased significantly.

AAP FactCheck has since come across more than 10 such videos in the last 48 hours – all claiming to show reports from accredited Australian news media about investment schemes and mobile gambling apps.

Everyone has been manipulated.

One ad (here and here, screenshot here) uses a news clip from Nine News from July 2022. The original report – a weather forecast – has been cut with alternative footage and overlaid with a voiceover to make it seem like the newsreader is promoting a gambling app.

Other ads use edited segments from February and July 2022 from A Current Affair (ACA) to promote an “investment platform for beginners” (here, screenshot here) and something called the “maximization program” (here and here, screenshot here).

Fraudsters manipulate TV news to deceive the public
The same scams have been posted from multiple accounts.

Another ad (screenshot here) manipulates a Nine News report from June 2022 to entice users to join an oil and gas investment scheme.

Numerous other videos use Australian news clips, allegedly promoting Commonwealth Bank investment schemes, in an attempt to get Facebook users to click on suspicious links.

For example, one uses an edited Nine News clip from August 2022 (here, here, here and here, screenshot here); another (screenshot here) uses a Sky News Australia clip from November 2021; others use ACA clips from August 2021 ( here , screenshot here ) and November 2022 ( here , here , here , and here , screenshot here ).

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Another has used footage from Sky News Australia overlaid with audio from a 2020 ACA segment (here, here and here, screenshot here).

The Facebook pages provide several major red flags for fraudulent content. Most were created within the last few months, have very few followers, and exhibit suspicious behavior such as unusual and frequent username changes, profile pictures taken from other sources, and content that does not match the page information.

The profile picture of one page, for example, appears to have been taken from this website. Another account describes itself as a “Beauty, cosmetics and personal care” page, but uses Commonwealth Bank branding in its cover image. Since September, when it was created, it has operated under three different names: “АрендаОI”, “Fresh News” and “CommBank AU”.

CommBank warning
The Commonwealth Bank has issued a warning about “fake articles” using the brand.

Some of the posts are made on accounts that appear to have been hacked.

For example, the verified account of Romanian musician Adrian Despot, who has 116,000 followers, began posting these ads and others this month. But in a November post from his Instagram account, the musician told his followers that his Facebook page had been hacked.

In October, the Commonwealth Bank issued a warning about social media posts exploiting the bank’s brand to lure people into bogus investment schemes.

The statement warns that “these scams often require urgent payments to be made to third-party accounts” and urges people to “Stop, check and reject if not legitimate”.

The verdict

A series of videos claiming to show accredited Australian news organizations promoting money-making schemes and online gambling apps are fake.

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The videos have been manipulated using real clips from various news segments that have been spliced ​​with alternate voiceovers and unrelated footage.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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