WPP's Read Subject Of Deepfake Scam Using Gen AI


Mark Read was the subject of a sophisticated deepfake scam that used generative AI to clone his voice and other techniques in a bid by criminals to convince another agency leader to help set up a new business and provide funding for it. 

The scam was ultimately unsuccessful, but Read issued an internal memo to the company’s top managers to be vigilant of such schemes in the future.  



The fraudsters also utilized a fake WhatsApp account and YouTube footage to set up a Microsoft teams meeting purportedly between Read, another unidentified WPP executive and others, according to UK newspaper The Guardian. 

The Guardian obtained a copy of the memo that Read issued to his management team.  

WPP declined to provide the memo but a company spokesman did note that “thanks to the vigilance of our people, including the executive concerned, the incident was prevented.” 

“We all need to be vigilant to the techniques that go beyond emails to take advantage of virtual meetings, AI and deepfakes,” Read stated in his email, per The Guardian report.  

The holding company notes on its website that its name and its agencies names have been fraudulently used by third parties. “Any websites or apps claiming a connection to WPP, or any member of the network, that encourage people to pay a membership fee or provide personal and/or financial information are fraudulent,” the note on the website states.  


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