A former ‘Coal India executive in Kozhikode got Rs 40,000 scammed in the early morning of July 9 by a fraudster who used AI deepfake technology to impersonate the victim’s friend, Venu Kumar, in a WhatsApp video call.
This incident took place in Kozhikode, Kerala, where Radhakrishnan, a senior executive who retired from Coal India 12 years ago, received a WhatsApp video call from whom he believed to be his close friend, Venu Kumar, requesting money urgently for his sister’s surgery. But Radhakrishnan doubted him, as he claimed another Rs 35,000.
Later, Radhakrishnan called his friend Venugopal after finding his number in a WhatsApp group and realized that the video call he received earlier was a scam. So he complained to the police.
The City Commissioner of Kozhikode, Rajpal Meena, investigated this case for four months and finally discovered that Kaushal Shah from Ahmedabad is the main accused in this case, and Shaik Murtuzamiya Hayat Bhai from Mehsana in Gujarat is also involved in this case. The main suspect actually got the contact details from former employees of the Coal India company.
In this case, it was found that Kaushal Shah used AI technology to create a fake video call to exploit the trust and goodwill of the victim. He is found to be a B.com. graduate, and his relatives, friends, and bankers have reported his similar crimes to the police in Ahmedabad. This was uncovered by Kozhikode cybercrime inspector Dinesh Koroth.
This is the first case of AI fraud in Kerala, and similar incidents happened in Gujarat and Karnataka. People in Kerala are advised to protect themselves from such scams, especially those that happen through digital media. If any unknown person requests money via phone or video call, make sure to identify the requester's identity before deciding to send money to the requester. People are also advised to stay updated with fraud news to avoid such incidents.
The City Commissioner, Rajpal Meena, stated that it is the first arrest in Kerala for deepfake technology, and they are committed to solving similar complicated frauds.
(Input from various media sources)