• | 1:31 pm

BSE chief flags rising fraud risk to Indian investors in FT interview

Sundararaman Ramamurthy's remarks come after billionaire investor Warren Buffett said AI-driven scamming ‘would be the growth industry of all time’

BSE chief flags rising fraud risk to Indian investors in FT interview
[Source photo: X]

Fraudsters are using deepfakes and realistic manipulations of video, audio, and images of businessmen, actors, and others to target India’s retail traders, BSE Ltd chief executive Sundararaman Ramamurthy told the Financial Times this week.

In the interview, Ramamurthy said fraudsters had manipulated his own image in a video to cheat the public, as well as his staff, while highlighting that the “menace” is “getting very sophisticated”.

Ramamurthy’s remarks come after billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman Warren Buffett said artificial intelligence (AI)-driven scamming “will be the growth industry of all time.”

During the company’s annual earnings meeting in Omaha this month, Buffett shared an “experience” with AI in which his own voice and image was manipulated, which made him “a little nervous”. 

“…And wearing the kind of clothes I wear, my wife or my daughter wouldn’t have been able to detect any difference. And it was delivering a message that no way came from me,” Buffett said.

Last month, BSE and the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) had warned investors about fake audio and video clips circulating on social media featuring the exchanges’ CEOs recommending specific stock investments.

Traders and social media users have reported a spurt in such fraudulent messages and “stock tips”, with some even complaining of being added to WhatsApp groups that recommend stocks to con members.

Authorities, meanwhile, have expressed helplessness as the scammers in many such cases use foreign IP addresses, making it difficult to trace them.

Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, as well as the Advertising Standards Council of India have cracked down on unauthorized investment influencers offering illegal investment advice and advertisements on social media in the past.

The surge in such fake videos using deepfake and artificial intelligence (AI) technology is not restricted to fraudulent investment advice but also politics. 

Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Ranveer Singh had last month filed police complaints after deepfake videos of them backing a political party went viral on social media. India is in the middle of a general election, which is on till 4 June.

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