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Pro surfer’s hacked account spruiks Kelly Clarkson scam – Australian Associated Press | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


A series of Facebook videos shared by a professional surfer appears to show American pop singer Kelly Clarkson addressing her fans about a new weight loss product.

This is a scam. The videos of the pop star are deepfakes, likely created with artificial intelligence. The surfer, Anthony Walsh, confirmed to AAP FactCheck that his account had been hacked several years ago and that he did not share the post.

One Facebook video purports to show the American Idol winner saying to the camera: “Ladies, honestly, I didn’t expect my weight loss to spark so many questions. My direct messages on Instagram are overflowing. Instead of replying to each one individually, I’ve decided to make a post about it.”

 Kelly Clarkson has not promoted a weight loss product online. 

The caption accompanying the video says: “K⁣e⁣l⁣l⁣y⁣ ⁣C⁣l⁣a⁣r⁣k⁣s⁣o⁣п⁣ ⁣i⁣s⁣ ⁣r⁣e⁣f⁣o⁣r⁣m⁣i⁣n⁣g⁣ ⁣t⁣h⁣e⁣ ⁣a⁣p⁣p⁣r⁣o⁣a⁣c⁣h⁣ ⁣t⁣o⁣ ⁣w⁣e⁣i⁣g⁣h⁣t⁣ ⁣l⁣о⁣s⁣s⁣ ⁣w⁣i⁣t⁣h⁣ ⁣a⁣ ⁣s⁣c⁣i⁣e⁣n⁣t⁣i⁣f⁣i⁣c⁣a⁣l⁣l⁣y⁣ ⁣b⁣a⁣c⁣k⁣e⁣d⁣ ⁣n⁣a⁣t⁣u⁣r⁣a⁣l⁣ ⁣p⁣r⁣o⁣d⁣u⁣c⁣t⁣ ⁣t⁣h⁣a⁣t⁣ ⁣h⁣e⁣l⁣p⁣s⁣ ⁣p⁣e⁣o⁣p⁣l⁣e⁣ ⁣t⁣o⁣ ⁣p⁣a⁣r⁣t⁣ ⁣w⁣i⁣t⁣h⁣ ⁣f⁣a⁣t⁣ ⁣w⁣i⁣t⁣h⁣i⁣n⁣ ⁣a⁣ ⁣s⁣h⁣o⁣r⁣t⁣ ⁣p⁣e⁣r⁣i⁣o⁣d⁣ ⁣o⁣f⁣ ⁣t⁣i⁣m⁣e⁣.”

Another video uses the same text in the caption, and similar dialogue in the video.

The videos appear to have been taken from two recent posts from Ms Clarkson’s Instagram account.

In one of the Instagram videos, in which she is promoting an appearance at an Audacy event called We Can Survive, she can be seen wearing the same brown corduroy overalls and t-shirt as in the scam video.

In another video, in which she is promoting her album Chemistry, she can be seen wearing the same floral dress as she is in another scam clip.

Clarkson makes no mention of a weight loss product in either of her Instagram videos.

Similar videos have been shared by dozens of high-profile verified Facebook pages, or pages with thousands of followers (see here).

In each case, the Facebook pages’ transparency details show they are being managed by several people in various locations around the world, which may be a sign that the accounts have been hacked.

Two of the videos (here and here, archived here and here) were posted from the verified Facebook page of Hawaiian surfer Anthony Walsh.

His account, which has 26,000 followers, now appears to be managed by several users in Vietnam and Mexico according to the page’s transparency details.

Clarkson performing in Melbourne way back in 2003
 Deepfakes of Clarkson have appeared in a number of videos promoting weight loss products. 

AAP FactCheck reached out to Mr Walsh via direct message to his Instagram page, to which he responded confirming his account had been “hacked”, and that the Kelly Clarkson posts were fake.

A series of Facebook videos using deepfakes of notable people to promote suspicious products AAP FactCheck has debunked a (see here and here).

HOW TO SPOT A DEEPFAKE ON FACEBOOK – THE RED FLAGS

Treat posts appearing to show well-known figures and celebrities promoting new products with caution if they include more than one of the following features:

* The people speak with unusual pauses, stilted speech patterns or inconsistent accents.

* Their mouth movements aren’t in time with their speech, or their facial expressions and movements don’t match their speech tone.

* The videos are low-resolution or stutter.

* The source and/or context of the video is unclear.

The Verdict

The claim that a pro-surfer has promoted a weight loss product championed by pop star Kelly Clarkson is false.

The videos featuring Ms Clarkson are fake and have likely been made with the assistance of AI.

Surfer Anthony Walsh confirmed to AAP FactCheck that his account had been hacked several years ago.

False — The claim is inaccurate.

AAP FactCheck is an accredited member of the International Fact-Checking Network. To keep up with our latest fact checks, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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