Hackread.com earlier reported a website designed by software engineer Philip Wang that can create realistic faces of people who don’t even exist simply by clicking the Refresh button.
Non-Existent People Posed as Boston Law Firm
It may seem like a story straight out of a Hollywood script, but it is indeed true that scammers are using AI-generated images to scam people. According to Ben Dickson of TechTalks, he received an email from a law firm’s attorney, which turned out to be fake, and surprisingly, the sender didn’t even exist.
Details of the Scam
In his blog post published in TechTalks, Dickson wrote that on April 13, Nicole Palmer sent an email citing “DMCA Copyright Infringement Notice.” The email introduced Nicole as a Trademark Attorney of Arthur Davidson Legal Services and claimed that the recipient had used an image in TechTalks that belonged to one of her clients.
“Our client is happy for their image to be used and shared across the internet. However, proper image credit is due for past or ongoing usage,” the email supposedly sent by Nicole read.
The email contained references to Section 512(c) of DMCA with a professional signature that made it appear legit. If it wasn’t done, Nicole threatened legal action against Dickson.
How was the Scam Discovered?
Dickson spent around 7 days adding credit to that image and a homepage to Nicole’s client’s website. But, when he couldn’t be successful, he re-read the email and identified something off. It was a link to an image-sharing website called Imgur. On this site, anyone can upload images without creating a profile.
“So it was perfectly possible that they had downloaded the image from my website, uploaded it on Imgur, and then claimed that their image was there before mine,” Dickson wrote.
Dickson had taken that image from Pexels, a license-free stock photo library. He emailed Nicole with proof that no attribution was needed and waited for a reply. When he didn’t receive a response, he checked out her legal firm Arthur Davidson Legal website, which seemed authentic with profiles of 18 lawyers who graduated from prestigious institutions, 420 cases, and a 90% success rate with 380 wins.
A quick Google search didn’t yield any results of such a well-known law firm either. Red flags were raised when Dickson noted the website domain was set up in February 2022 while the firm was established in 2009.
Later, it turned out that Nicole Palmer didn’t even exist because when Dickson checked her photograph on the website, he learned that a generative adversarial network created the image.
It is worth noting that in 2019, Hackread.com reported a website (thispersondoesnotexist.com) designed by software engineer Philip Wang that can create realistic faces of people who don’t even exist simply by clicking the Refresh button.
It is quite possible that Palmer’s image was also created using the same website. Nevertheless, watch out for fake emails claiming to represent law firms or threatening people with phony DMCA notices or subpoenas.
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