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Deepfake of Asia’s Richest Man Used in India Stock Market Scam

India is seeing a sharp surge in incidences of cyber scams, with authorities recording a whopping average of 7,000 cybercrime complaints per day last month

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, attends a convocation at the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University in Gandhinagar, India
Mukesh Ambani, chair and managing director of Reliance Industries, attends a convocation at the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University in Gandhinagar, India. Photo: Reuters.


Indian authorities have filed a case of a stock market scam in which fraudsters used a deepfake of Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, to dupe investors.

Police in India’s market capital Mumbai said on Saturday they had registered a case on behalf of a 54-year-old doctor who was duped of 710,000 rupees ($8,500) after falling for the deepfake.

The victim said she fell for the scam after seeing Ambani’s deepfake on Instagram endorsing a stock investment firm which turned out to be bogus.


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In the video Ambani’s deepfake said the firm ‘BCF Academy’ could provide high returns on investments, the doctor said in her complaint, according to a report by Indian newspaper Times of India.

She added that she also researched on the firm and found it online, where it claimed to have offices in London and Mumbai’s posh Bandra Kurla Complex area.

Convinced by the endorsement and her findings online, the victim contacted the bogus share investment firm through the Instagram reel. She was then directed to join a private Whatsapp group, given share market ‘training’ for a day and then asked to begin investing funds through a mobile app.

The victim invested more than 700,000 rupees over the course of two months. Fraudsters also provided her an account to ‘monitor’ her investments, which showed she had racked up profits of 3 million rupees ($36,000) within days.

The victim realised she had been scammed, however, when she tried to withdraw those apparent profits, but couldn’t. She was also asked to pay another 340,000 rupees ($4,073) as tax on her ‘earnings’, according to the ToI report.

Indian police have filed a case of “impersonation and cheating” against unnamed individuals and are investigating bank accounts where the victim transferred money.


7,000 cyber crimes per day

Deepfakes of Ambani — the chief of petroleum-to-textiles conglomerate Reliance Industries — have been spreading throughout social media this year to promote everything from stock traders to play-to-win games.

The industrialist is seen as a symbol of wealth in India, with a net worth of more than $113 billion, and his deepfakes have emerged as an easy ploy for scamsters looking to net unsuspecting victims.





Ambani and his Reliance Industries are yet to comment on the spread of the deepfakes and related scams.

The development comes at a time when India is seeing a sharp surge in incidences of cyber scams. Just in May 2024, Indian authorities recorded a whopping average of 7,000 cybercrime complaints per day, according to the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre.

A robust stock market has meant that an increasing number of cyber criminals are trying to scam Indian investors, especially through direct communication channels like Whatsapp and Telegram.

In March, an Indian Express investigation found that 110 people lost 180 million rupees ($2.2 million) in just two months in just one Indian city over the course of two months.

As of June, India had nearly 178 million registered investors according to stock exchange data.

Meanwhile, India’s securities regulator has issued multiple warnings to retail investors this year against falling for trading and investment schemes that promise unrealistic returns.

“The principle of ‘higher returns come with higher risks of losing your money all-together’ holds true in the securities market,” the regulator warned in February.


  • Vishakha Saxena


Also read:

Video Call With Deepfakes Costs UK Firm $25m in Hong Kong

$600,000 ‘Deepfake’ Fraud Heats Up AI Debate in China

Scamming Compounds in SE Asia Stole $64 Billion in 2023: Report

Big Tech ‘Doing Little’ to Counter Rampant Scams on Social Media

High-Tech Asian Crime Wave: Cyber Scams, Casinos Loot Billions



Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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