Caution Advised: Scams Involving Donald Trump Gold Coins

Benjamin Applebaum, via WikiMedia

Original article (in Albanian) was published on 7/01/2024; Author: Ilda Hoxha

A fabricated video featuring the CEO of the Bank of America has been exploited to promote the sale of Donald Trump’s gold coins, even targeting Albanian Facebook users. Faktoje exposed this scam, which also misled numerous supporters of the former president.

Social media posts in Albania claim that the Bank of America’s CEO announced in a TV interview his willingness to trade each of Trump’s gold coins for $100,000.

Exclusive announcement: The General Manager of the Bank of America confirmed, in his latest interview on CNBC, that starting from January, he will accept Trump’s gold commemoratives in exchange for money…’, a social media user claimed.

Posts shared on social media

The post includes a video in which Brian Moynihan, the CEO of Bank of America, appears in a CNBC interview, claiming he has coordinated with former President Trump to start exchanging coins from January 1, 2024.

However, several unusual aspects in the video raise questions about its legitimacy. To assess the claims, Faktoje began by scrutinizing specific details in the footage. Upon close examination, it’s evident that the video has been tampered with; the CEO’s face appears distorted at certain points, and occasionally, odd-looking fingers appear in the frame, clashing with the rest of the video’s content.

Additionally, the voice of the Bank’s CEO seems to have been artificially overlaid using deepfake artificial intelligence technology.

In our online investigation, we located the original CNBC interview video with the CEO. This interview, conducted in December 2023, actually features the journalist asking about high-interest rates and economic forecasts. It appears the creators of the manipulated video took this genuine appearance and overlaid it with a fabricated voice, turning it into a source of disinformation.

In the actual CNBC interview, there is no mention of exchanging Donald Trump’s coins whatsoever.

Had the Bank’s CEO genuinely made such a statement, it would have been widely covered by other international news outlets. However, our research indicates that there is no such coverage on this topic.

Reports from various international media outlets have highlighted scams related to the sale of these coins to Trump’s Republican supporters, framing them as opportunities to contribute to the former president’s campaign. These scams often target elderly individuals who are misled into trading the coins, purportedly valued at $99, for significantly higher sums, leading them to present these coins at various bank branches.

There’s no proof linking Trump or his associates to the purported scam. However, international media reports highlight the use of AI-generated videos featuring audio that imitates Trump (and in some instances, billionaire Elon Musk) to promote these products.

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