South Korean woman falls for Elon Musk deepfake, loses £40,000 in romance scam

Jeong Ji-sun was tricked into a romance scam using a deepfake video of Elon Musk, losing a substantial sum of money.

Pop Culture & Art April 24, 2024
Elon Musk attends the Viva Technology conference at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, June 16, 2023. PHOTO: REUTERS

A South Korean woman identified as Jeong Ji-sun experienced a scammer's elaborate ploy. 

Believing she was interacting with billionaire Elon Musk on Instagram, she lost 70 million won (approximately £40,000) in a romance scam.

Ji-sun's initial skepticism faded after the scammer shared convincing photos, videos, and personal details about Musk's life and work, she told South Korean broadcaster KBS. Their relationship escalated quickly, with the scammer even professing love during a deepfake video call.

Fueling Ji-sun's hopes for a shared future of wealth, the scammer offered her a fraudulent investment opportunity.  Falsely claiming that he delighted in making his fans rich, he instructed her to transfer funds into a Korean bank account.

Sadly, this is not the first time Musk's image has been leveraged to defraud unsuspecting individuals.  In 2021, a UK school teacher fell victim to a similar Bitcoin 'giveaway' scam, losing £9,000 of her savings.


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