CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Seeing isn't always believing -- scammers are using artificial intelligence to create real looking job websites and photos and videos of people who don't exist.
The goal is to steal your money and personal information.
John McDowell is a corporate trainer and he said he posted his resume on the job website, Indeed.
McDowell said a Japanese company contacted him, saying it had expansion plans for the United States.
"I know people are going to fall for this because it looked so amazingly real," McDowell said. "They used a real company's website. It looked real. They were very professional."
He said the business offered him a job, but first he needed to install some software on his computer and spend money. At this point, McDowell knew it was a scam.
Cyber Detective Willis McDonald said these types of sites are easy to set up. In an example for Action 9's Jason Stoogenke, he set up a site for a company that makes autonomous systems for cargo planes.
It has a real address and a real chat feature. You can see the team behind the company, but it is fake.
"It's fairly easy to set these sites up," McDonald said. "If I wanted to use this site for malicious purposes, it would take probably two to three hours to set this thing up and around $20."
McDonald said he created the fake faces using an online computer generated program called "This Person Doesn't Exist."
Software Developer and creator of the program Philip Wang said it uses a powerful A-I program to spawn a new face and new person every second, which creates a mashup of pictures online.
"And it fools us sometimes," Wang said. "It's 70,000 public domain pictures from the Flicker Data Set. It's quite possible you're in there some place."
McDonald and other cyber sleuths say "deep fake" video and photo counterfeiting could have a profound impact on elections and foreign relations.
"Or influence the stock market, influence decision-makers, do certain things they wouldn't if this fake video hadn't popped up," McDonald said.
It is not always easy to know the difference between a computer-generated image of someone online and a real person. Always try to check the source and try to get it confirmed with another source.
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