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David Cameron is the target of a prank phone call

David Cameron is the target of a prank phone call
David Cameron is the target of a prank phone call

 


A hoax tricked the foreign minister into believing he was speaking to a former president of Ukraine.

Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton exchanged messages and held a video call with an impostor posing as Petro Poroshenko, 58, president of Ukraine from 2014 to 2019.

However, Cameron, 57, quickly became suspicious after being asked about other people's contact details, the Foreign Office said.

The department said in a statement this evening: A number of text messages were exchanged, followed by a brief video call between the Foreign Secretary and someone claiming to be Petro Poroshenko, former president of Ukraine.

While the video call clearly appeared to be with Mr Poroshenko, following the conversation the foreign minister became suspicious.

Contact details more were requested and, given his concerns, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stopped responding.

The department has now investigated and confirmed that it was not genuine and that the messages and video call were a hoax.

We are making this public in case the Foreign Secretary's video is manipulated and then used, and to ensure others are aware of this risk.

Petro Poroshenko served as President of Ukraine from 2014 to 2019.

Petro Poroshenko served as President of Ukraine from 2014 to 2019.

EPA

A Foreign Office spokesperson confirmed the hoax targeting the Foreign Minister took place in recent days.

The deception is the latest in a series of similar hoaxes that have successfully fooled prominent politicians into revealing information to foreign impostors.

Ben Wallace gave Defense Department officials a good slap in the face in 2022 after having a video call with a prankster posing as Ukraine's prime minister.

James Heappey, who was then Minister for the Armed Forces, told LBC that the call took place over Microsoft Teams and could therefore be easily intercepted and listened to by hackers or fraudsters.

Heappey told Sky News the call had been rather bland. He added, however, that: When the caller began asking more pointed questions about our military intentions in the region, Ben knew full well that this was not the kind of question anyone would normally ask on Teams and so he became quite suspicious and ended the call. call.

Wallace, who was then Secretary of Defense, blamed Russian dirty tricks.

He wrote on Twitter: No amount of disinformation, distortion and Russian tricks can distract from Russia's human rights violations and illegal invasion of Ukraine. A desperate attempt.

Also in 2022, Priti Patel, who was then Home Secretary, wrote on Twitter that she had received a similar hoax.

She replied to Wallace: This also happened to me earlier this week. Pathetic attempt, in such difficult times, to divide us. We stand with Ukraine.

In 2018, Boris Johnson, while Foreign Secretary, discussed international relations and crude poetry with a prankster posing as the Armenian Prime Minister.

The Foreign Office accused the Kremlin of organizing a prank phone call that led Johnson to speak to the imposter for 18 minutes.

During the call, he was asked about the Salisbury poisoning and how to deal with President Putin.

It was later revealed that Johnson had fallen victim to Alexei Stolyarov and Vladimir Kuznetsov, the Russian pranksters known as Vovan and Lexus, who had previously called Sir Elton John in the guise of Putin and convinced Turkish President Erdogan that he was speaking to his Ukrainian counterpart. counterpart.

The two men released audio of the call, in which one of them posed as Nikol Pashinyan, the Armenian leader.

He asked Johnson about the UK's certainty that Russia was behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March 2018, to which Johnson replied: “We were almost 100% sure of that.” % before offering to share other evidence that is not in the public domain.

A senior diplomatic source called the prank the Kremlin's last desperate attempt to save face after being internationally humiliated following Skripal's attack.

Boris got them scolded pretty quickly and ended the call. It is tragic to see a major international power reduced to failed jokes that we usually only see on Trigger Happy TV.

Politicians have received repeated warnings in recent months about the growing threat of misinformation and misinformation, particularly as artificial intelligence technology improves.

This week, the networks said that on Election Day, the networks would not be able to warn viewers about deepfakes and misinformation.

Rachel Corp, chief executive of ITN, has warned that the company will be inundated with AI-created propaganda in the run-up to polling day.

The Foreign Office has been contacted for further comment.

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