A woman who believed she was in a romantic two-year relationship with a man she met online has discovered she fell for a sophisticated scam after a video he sent her set off alarm bells.
Mary, a 66-year-old from Sydney, thought she had found the perfect match with a man claiming he was from the UK.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: How scammer used AI to dupe Aussie woman.
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But things took a strange turn when her friend Liz noticed something suspicious in the video he sent to Mary.
“Two weeks, I will be back in Sydney, Australia. I really do hope things go well between us. I would love us to meet and be together when I return,” the man said in the video.
Liz shared the wild story with Kyle and Jackie O on KIIS 1065 because she was convinced her friend Mary was being duped in an elaborate Artificial Intelligence (AI) scam.
Speaking to Kylie and Jackie O, Mary said she believed she was in a romantic two-year relationship with a man she met online, right. Credit: Kyle and Jackie O
“She’s so wanting love and she’s just wanting it to be real,” Liz told the radio show.
“She was showing me the video going, ‘Look how much he absolutely adores me’. But eventually she started questioning, ‘Hey how do I know this stuff is real?’”
Mary knew something wasn’t right when she waited at the airport to meet him — but he never showed up.
“He went to Abu Dhabi and he was meant to come back to Australia… he sent her a promise. He was like, ‘Meet me at the airport at 8pm’,” her friend Liz explained.
“He didn’t show up but then he said he got arrested at the airport for owing someone money. So Mary had to transfer money.”
Sharing her heartbreaking with Kyle and Jackie O, Mary said: “You want to believe in your heart so I went down there (to the airport) and I waited there for probably about two hours.
“I cried all the way home. I cried for days after.”
In a shocking twist, Mary discovered the scammer had actually stolen the real man’s picture and turned it into an AI video. Credit: Kyle and Jackie O
In a shocking twist, the radio team managed to track down the real man behind the video.
The scammer had used a picture of American TV news anchor named Andre to trick Mary into a relationship.
“I don’t want to be the one to break this news to Mary but that video he sent her, we’ve actually found the guy’s social media page who the person stole from,” a KIISFM producer said.
“So the person took a picture, put it through AI and made it talk. The real guy is an Emmy-winning TV news anchor. Apparently this has happened to him thousands of times.”
Real man responds
Andre confirmed he knew about the scammers after he was alerted to the fake social media accounts pretending to be him.
“The worst part of the romance scams, there’s a group out of West Africa… they hire these young men to use the latest technology possible,” Andre told KIISFM.
A heartbroken Mary added: “I just don’t understand it all. I don’t understand this AI thing. It just looks the same.”
She added: “So I’ve been duped all along.”
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