Deepfake Mark Ruffalo was used to scam 74-year-old woman

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Cybercriminals are becoming more creative than ever before. This time, deepfake technology was used to scam a 74-year-old woman for more than half a million dollars.

For those unfamiliar, deepfake technology uses AI to replace a face of a person on an existing video with someone else’s likeness. In the past, it was used to create fake moments and scenes, often involving politicians and actors.

But in this cautionary tale, a deepfake Mark Ruffalo (yes, that Mark Ruffalo from Avengers) was used to scam 74-year-old manga artist Chikae Ide.

According to The Asahi Shimbun, Ide believed she was interacting with Mark Ruffalo. The victim was contacted by a deepfake Ruffalo on Facebook. After some time, things became serious as the relationship blossomed into romance. And to erase any doubts, the scammer even video-called her, using deepfake technology to pretend to be the Hulk actor.

As things progressed, deepfake Ruffalo started asking for money for various things, from plane tickets to hospital and utility bills to cash troubles. Ide dug through her savings as a manga artist, and even sold original artwork to send to her “online husband.” Thankfully, Ide’s daughter stepped in before it got any worse.

The police were not able to locate the person posing as Mark Ruffalo.

See also: How scammers are getting names for smishing and text scams

There is some good news to end this sad story. Ide turned her experience into a novel, Poison Love, in hopes that people learn from what happened to her.


Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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