What do online scams, Tom Cruise and Elon Musk have in common?

Date: 06 April 2021
Author: FINTECH Circle

In our recent online session with Red Points, we discussed the risk online scams present to both startups and big corporations, threats your brand is facing online and what can you do to prevent the damage.

Impersonation is a security challenge. It can significantly damage a brand’s reputation and create a financial risk for organisations.

Did you know…

  • Impersonation attacks have caused damage of $5bn globally so far?

  • Impersonation scams affecting banks increased by 84% in 2020 in the UK alone?

Social network organisations are on high alert when it comes to fraud and are taking several measures to protect their customers. However, with technology changing every day and fraudsters coming up with new ways of attacking social media users, cyber security is becoming increasingly important and complex.

It’s not just social media organisations that need to be aware of the dangers cyberattacks pose. Every company must be on the lookout for potential threats and know how to tackle them in order to minimise the impact to client’s sensitive information, confidence, trust and brand loyalty.

What is social media impersonation

Impersonation or identity theft in social networks refers to accounts that use the name, image or other identifying elements of a person, company or organization for fraudulent purposes.

Phishing and scams

Social media has become a prominent channel for cyberattacks. Scammers know how to use sophisticated, targeted and customised attacks against your brand and any financial institution or company should be monitoring it closely. During the session we looked at two very prominent examples:

In 2018, Elon Musk was a victim of impersonation attack on Twitter, with fraudsters linking the fake profile to a cryptocurrency scam. Although the scam was eventually removed, Elon Musk continues to be one of the most impersonated personas, with millions of people following the fake accounts.
Recently Tom Cruise deepfake has been making waves on TikTok, proving how far imitation technology has come.

Although these two cases are quite specific, they examplify the risk and sophisticated techniques on social media.

The main takeaways from the online discussion include:

  1. Social media impersonations represent a growing problem
  2. Risks include loss of revenue, traffic, reputational issues and loss of customer trust
  3. Brands must take a proactive approach to the problem
  4. A comprehensive & scalable protection system is key to identify and remove infringements
  5. Technology and expertise in IP enforcement will ensure the success of this strategy

To find out more about social media impersonation challenges, check out the FINTECH Insights online session here.