Taylor Swift is not giving out free Le Creuset products in social media advertisements — though deepfakes of her voice would like you to believe otherwise. A series of posts have recently surfaced on TikTok and in Meta's Ad Library claiming to show Swift offering free Le Creuset cookware sets, the New York Times reports. The ads featured clips where Swift was near Le Creuset products and used a synthetic version of her voice. The scammers used AI to have the cloned voice address her fans, "Swifties," and produce other little remarks.
These posts led interested parties to fake versions of sites like The Food Network with made-up articles and testimonials about Le Creuset. Shoppers were then asked just to provide the $9.96 for shipping to get their free products. Unsurprisingly, no Dutch ovens arrived, and customers had additional monthly charges added to their cards. Le Creuset confirmed no such giveaway was occurring.
Swift is hardly the only celebrity who has recently found their voice co-opted using AI. She's not even the only one used in the scam, with interior designer Joanna Gaines mimicked in ads from verified accounts or ones labeled as sponsored posts. In April 2023, the Better Business Bureau warned consumers about the high quality of ads featuring AI-manufactured versions of celebrities. Since then, scammers have used deepfakes to convince consumers that Luke Combs was selling weight loss gummies, Tom Hanks was promoting dental plans and Gayle King was selling other weight loss products, to name a few examples.
Little regulation exists for monitoring deepfakes or punishing the people who create them. A lot of the responsibility currently falls on the platforms, with YouTube, for example, laying out new steps for reporting deepfakes. At the same time, its working with select musicians to loan their voices out and create greater interest in AI-generated versions of real people.
Last year, two bills were introduced in Congress to address deepfakes: The No Fakes Act and the Deepfakes Accountability Act. However, the fate of both pieces of legislation is uncertain. At the moment, only select states, such as California and Florida, have any AI regulation.