Ileana van der Linde

Executive Director, Cybersecurity Awareness Global Program Lead


As cyber threats and fraud scams become more sophisticated, it is increasingly difficult for individuals to determine if a request coming via an email, text, call or even video call is authentic. Is that caller on the other line who they say they are? Is the request real? Deepfake video content is proliferating across the Internet. No matter what form of communication, these well-crafted social engineering scams are designed to gain access not only to personal information, but also access to your financial accounts.

Cyber threats and fraud scams drive record monetary losses due to their sophisticated nature, amounting to losses in over $12.5 billion in 2023, a 22% increase over the previous year.1

  • Fraudsters are leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create audio and video, as well as images that appear to be real, usually of a trusted person. These are known as Deepfakes. In recent news, an individual, who believed he was speaking to senior leaders within his organization via a video call, was deceived into sending a fraudulent payment. It was later discovered that the “senior leaders” were deepfakes, which fraudsters constructed to impersonate the employees.2
  • Impersonations of bank employees or government officials are increasing and can often sound very convincing. These scammers demand immediate payment or action to avoid further consequences. This again can dupe people into inadvertently sending money to a fraudulent account.
  • Extortion scams, often in the form of phone calls that sound like a family member in duress, exploit an individual’s emotional state to get a payment or sensitive information.

As these deepfakes and other impersonations may be difficult to detect, it’s important to pause before taking action that involve payments. Contact a trusted person to talk it through before reacting. Establish a protocol of validating individuals when conducting business, both personally and professionally. Leverage some of the best practices below to help you protect yourself and your accounts:

  • Do not assume a phone call, email, text message or video clip is genuine, as phone numbers can be spoofed to appear legitimate, especially if the individual is requesting sensitive information or making high-pressure demands.
  • Validate a caller's identity. If you receive a call from someone claiming to represent a certain organization and you are unsure, hang up and call an official number. You must validate this number in another way, such as on the company's official website, back of your credit/debit card or latest bank statement to confirm the call's legitimacy.
    • If a caller states they are from J.P. Morgan, it is ok to hang up and reach out to your J.P. Morgan contact directly. J.P. Morgan will never ask you to provide a one-time passcode.
    • If someone asserts they are a government official on a call or in an email, avoid being intimidated, and validate via another means of communication such as calling the phone number on their official website.
    • Even if it sounds like a family member is in trouble, call a trusted individual before being pressured into making a payment. Consider creating a pre-determined family ‘safe word’ to ensure it really is them on the other end.
  • Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in emails, texts and social media, particularly if they are not from a trusted source. If anything appears to be too good to be true, it probably is. Be skeptical of unsolicited messages that promise easy money, great rewards or interesting prospects.
    • Hover over the link or email sender address to see if the URL is plausible. Refrain from clicking links from unknown senders. Instead, navigate to the website by directly entering the web address in a web browser. Scams, supported by AI or otherwise, attempt to lead you to malicious websites aimed to steal your personal information, or infect your devices. This includes social media links and ads.
  • Sharing too much information via social media platforms also allows scammers to gather information about you, your friends, family and contacts, and can be used to social engineer you. Be less of a target by limiting the personal information you post.
  • Protect your digital identity and accounts by enabling additional controls such as robust security settings, two-factor authentication and strong and unique login credentials
    • Ensure your devices are protected by keeping anti-virus operating software (and applications) up to date.

We can help

To learn more about how you can protect yourself and your accounts, reach out to your J.P. Morgan advisor. A J.P. Morgan advisor can provide resources on how to keep yourself, your family and your information cyber secure.



Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Internet Crime Report 2023.” (December 2023).


CNN, “Finance worker pays out $25 million after video call with deepfake ‘chief financial officer.’” (February 2024).

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