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Lord Cameron subject to hoax call and messages from person claiming to be ex-president of Ukraine | UK News

Lord Cameron received a hoax video call and messages from someone claiming to be Ukraine’s former president.

To fend off any potential attempts to manipulate footage of the foreign secretary from the exchange, the government has revealed what happened.

A “number of text messages were exchanged followed by a brief video call” between Lord Cameron and someone who claimed to be Petro Pereshenko, the Foreign Office said.

The statement does not say who the government believes may be responsible for the hoax.

“Whilst the video call clearly appeared to be with Mr Poroshenko, following the conversation the foreign secretary became suspicious,” the statement added.

“Contact details for others were requested and, given his concerns, the foreign secretary 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 video of the foreign secretary is manipulated and subsequently used, and to ensure that others are aware of this risk.”

The Foreign Office said manipulation of information is becoming “ever more present”.

“Whilst regretting his mistake, the Foreign Secretary thinks it important to call out this behaviour and increase efforts to counter the use of misinformation,” it added.

As artificial intelligence (AI) improves, there have been repeated warnings in recent months about the growing threat of misinformation and fake news.

Broadcasters warned they will not be able to warn viewers about deepfakes and misinformation on election day.

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It’s not the first time a minister has been caught out by a hoax – in 2018, then-foreign secretary Boris Johnson discussed international relations and rude poetry with a hoax caller who pretended to be the Armenian prime minister.

In 2022, the government blamed Russia for hoax calls to two ministers and an attempted call to a third.

Videos of one of those calls, to then-defence minister Ben Wallace, later appeared online, prompting the government to ask YouTube to remove them.

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