Facebook ads promote fake stock trading app to Canadians

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Facebook posts featuring clips of news anchors advertise an investment program for Canadians, promising thousands of dollars in profits. But it is not a real offer; the links in the ads do not lead to an authentic investment website, and the clips are taken from stories about artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots.

"Frighteningly impressive this software is," says CBC anchor Ian Hanomansing in a video published April 24, 2023 on Facebook. "I did a little experiment to try the software out, let's take a look at that."

Another Facebook ad posted the same day promotes an identical investment program, but begins with a clip of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper saying: "They claim that this investment will do all the work for you and all you need is a few dollars."

Both ads also use a testimonial from a man in a truck claiming he made between $8,000-$10,000 per week using AI-powered investment software.

Screenshot of a Facebook ad taken May 2, 2023
Screenshot of a Facebook ad taken May 2, 2023



There are tools that leverage AI to analyze stock trends and predict trading opportunities, but these ads are not associated with any such service.

Several things about the offer indicate it is a possible scam:

Out-of-context newsreels

The ads also feature clips from news stories unrelated to an investment opportunity.

A reverse image search of a still from the Hanomansing video surfaced a March 3, 2023 segment of the CBC nightly news show "The National."

In the clip, the anchor interviews guests about how the AI chatbot ChatGPT could infiltrate the workforce -- but they do not mention an investment app. The experiment cited in the Facebook posts was actually Hanomansing giving ChatGPT a prompt to see what it would generate.

CBC spokeswoman Kerry Kelly confirmed in a May 1 email that the video about AI investment software is not an authentic broadcast.

The CNN clip, meanwhile, stems from a January 25, 2023 segment about ChatGPT.

Cooper and his guest do not bring up AI investing. The quote the ads attribute to the anchor was actually in reference to Microsoft's move to invest in ChatGPT parent company OpenAI.

AFP has previously debunked other fraudulent investment opportunities advertised to Canadians.