We have become accustomed to the advances in technology moving quickly but the speed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has developed is exceptional. Regrettably, the most dangerous consequence of this revolutionary innovation is that the ever vigilant fraudsters have been handed another tool with which they can scam the unwary.

The wrongdoers now have the ability to develop deepfake images and speech. The improved capacity to replicate voices enables the impersonation of influential famous persons in videos on sites such as Instagram. The deepfake, appearing as an "expert", then convinces the target to part with their money in one of many scams. Giambrone & Partners banking and financial fraud litigation lawyers warn that the likelihood of encountering a fraudster is now extremely probable.

Joanna Bailey, head of the banking and financial fraud litigation department, comments "AI has not only made it easier to defraud people. The developing sophistication of deepfake deceives their targets into believing that they are dealing with credible people or very well-known people with a media profile." Joanna continued "the fraudsters take time to reel in their victims, building trustworthiness and credibility into their stories creating situations where even individuals that are discerning and perceptive are deceived. AI has taken romance fraud to a different level, making it much easier to develop plausibility and groom their victims over lengthy periods of time; with minimal research a deepfake persona can be created that could closely reflect the victim's ideal choice of partner. The deepfake "person" is unlikely to make an error and the vulnerable victim will believe that they are dealing with a genuine person."

Whilst responses generated by AI can be extremely realistic our experts are able to analyse and identify speech patterns that reveal the conversations are highly likely to be AI generated, rather than a real person, exposing the fact that it is part of a fraud and not a real person.

The vast majority of victims deceived in romance fraud meet the fraudster on Meta platforms, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp. A survey conducted by UK finance found that almost 40 per cent of individuals who visited dating sites in the hope of meeting a partner were asked for money and over half of those asked actually parted with money.

Romance fraud brings the additional problem that once the victims recognise that they have been duped in that they are embarrassed and often ashamed when they realise that they have not only lost their money but also that they were so easily deceived. Giambrone & Partners expert fraud and banking litigation lawyers recognise that this type of fraud is particularly upsetting and individuals should not be reluctant to pursue the fraudsters, all matters involving fraud are dealt with discreetly and with sensitivity.

Joanna Bailey and her team have been highly successful in recovering our clients' money lost to fraud. Joanna was instrumental in the development of an innovative ground-breaking strategy which lead to the first legal case in Europe where a worldwide freezing order was served through the blockchain to prevent the fraudsters dispersing funds prior to a legal case to recover our client's money

Joanna Bailey advises and acts for international and UK-based clients in disputes for clients ranging from shareholder and other commercial disputes, professional negligence, negligent misrepresentation and fraud, asset tracing and recovery, freezing orders and other injunctions and interim remedies, international/conflict of laws and human rights.

Joanna is highly regarded for her meticulous approach and her persistence when investigating international fraud matters. Her considerable experience and dogged pursuit frequently leads to the successful recovery of funds for clients. Joanna frequently leads the litigation against financial institutions involved in cryptocurrency trading disputes, as well as Forex investment issues and regulatory investigations and has some considerable success in retrieving our clients' funds lost in fraud.

Joanna was named Lawyer of the Week in The Times.

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