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Lord Cameron Targeted in Hoax Call Impersonating Former Ukrainian President: A Warning Against Misinformation

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Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron was targeted by a hoax call and messages from an individual posing as the former Ukrainian president. The government plans to disclose this incident to caution against any possible misuse of the footage derived from the conversation.

Friday, June 7, 2024, at 23

Lord Cameron was the target of a prank involving a video call and messages from an individual impersonating the former president of Ukraine.

In order to prevent any possible tampering with video footage involving the foreign secretary during the incident, the government has disclosed the details of what occurred.

According to the Foreign Office, Lord Cameron engaged in several text message exchanges and then participated in a short video call with an individual purporting to be Petro Poroshenko.

The announcement does not specify who the authorities suspect might be behind the false alarm.

"Although it seemed that the video call was indeed with Mr. Poroshenko, the foreign secretary grew skeptical after the discussion," the statement noted.

The foreign secretary ceased communication after being asked to provide contact information for others, due to his apprehensions.

The agency has conducted an inquiry and established that the incident was fabricated, confirming that the texts and video call were false.

"We are disclosing this information publicly to guard against the possibility that the video involving the foreign secretary might be tampered with and misused, and to make sure that the public is alerted to this potential threat."

The Foreign Office stated that the distortion of information is increasingly prevalent.

"The Foreign Secretary, acknowledging his error, believes it is crucial to highlight this conduct and enhance measures to combat misinformation," the statement continued.

In recent times, with the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), experts have increasingly raised concerns about the rising issue of misinformation and fabricated news.

Stay informed with the most recent updates from the UK and globally by tuning into Sky News.

Broadcasters have been cautioned that they may face challenges in alerting viewers to deepfakes and misinformation during the election day coverage.

In 2018, then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was duped into talking about international affairs and offensive verse with someone who falsely claimed to be the Armenian prime minister, marking yet another instance of a minister being tricked by a prank call.

In 2022, authorities accused Russia of making prank calls to two cabinet members and attempting to contact a third.

Further reading: Sunak chuckles at a quip while a protester claims the NHS is 'falling apart.' PM criticized for departing D-Day events prematurely.

Footage from a conversation with former Defence Minister Ben Wallace was later uploaded to the internet, leading the government to request that YouTube take down the videos.

In 1998, the sitting Prime Minister, Tony Blair, received a phone call at Downing Street from someone he thought was Conservative leader William Hague. However, the caller was actually Capital Radio DJ Steve Penk.

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Although the prank call managed to trick the operators at Downing Street, Mr. Blair quickly caught on but chose to engage with the hoax.

The spokesperson for Mr. Blair stated that the Prime Minister immediately realized the call was a prank when the caller addressed him as "Tony." "William Hague always refers to him more formally," the spokesperson added.

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