Foreign Secretary David Cameron targeted in hoax video call with 'fake' former Ukrainian president

David Cameron has been targeted in a hoax video scam  (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)
David Cameron has been targeted in a hoax video scam (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Foreign Secretary David Cameron has been targeted in a hoax video call where the former president of Ukraine was impersonated.

In order to stave off any attempts to manipulate video footage of Lord Cameron from the communications, the Government has made public what happened.

The Foreign Office said Lord Cameron exchanged text messages before “a brief video call between the Foreign Secretary and someone purporting to be Petro Poroshenko, former President of Ukraine.”

In a statement on Friday evening it said: “Whilst the video call clearly appeared to be with Mr Poroshenko, following the conversation the Foreign Secretary became suspicious.

“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.

“Manipulation of the information environment 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.”

Petro Poroshenko give a speech in 2014
Petro Poroshenko give a speech in 2014

The call is understood to have taken place in recent days.

The hoax call is the latest in a string of fake calls to leading Government figures in the hope of apparently securing sensitive or embarrassing information.

Ben Wallace was targeted in 2022 while Defence Secretary in a “prank” video call. In the same week then Home Secretary Priti Patel was also targeted.

At the time the Russian state was blamed for the calls.

The Government has not yet said who it believes is behind the call to Lord Cameron.

Politicians have received repeated warnings in recent months about the growing threat of misinformation and disinformation, especially as artificial intelligence (AI) technology improves.

Only earlier this week, broadcasters warned that on election day, channels will not be able to warn viewers about deepfakes and misinformation.

ITN chief executive Rachel Corp warned that "we're going to be flooded" with AI-created propaganda in the run-up to polling day.