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‘Shallowfake’ images fuel motor fraud

The growing use of technology to distort images has “all the signs” of driving the next big scam to hit the insurance industry, Allianz warns.

Fraudsters are editing vehicle photos to show fake damage for claims. Cases involving the distortion of real images, videos and documents have tripled in number recently, the insurer says.

The scam – producing what is known as a “shallowfake” – can be perpetrated using widely available editing software such as Photoshop. 

In one UK case, Allianz received images of a van showing the front bumper had been cracked in an “accident”, along with a false repair invoice for about $2000.

Shallowfakes 1

The insurer’s fraud team investigated and discovered the image was identical to one found on social media, but with the damage edited in. The claim was being pursued in the account holder’s name for an accident that never happened.

“A landscape of rapidly evolving fraud tactics is evident, with fraudsters regularly adapting their methods to pursue new scams,” Allianz said.

The insurer says it is now building on its existing controls to combat evolving fraud tactics, including partnering with voice analytics group Clearspeed.

“The rapidly changing nature of these fraudulent activities poses big risks to consumers,” Allianz said.