Tohidul Islam Raso

Research Officer, Dismislab
Shakib Al Hasan’s fake video used in promoting betting sites on Facebook
This article is more than 2 months old

Shakib Al Hasan’s fake video used in promoting betting sites on Facebook

Tohidul Islam Raso

Research Officer, Dismislab

The ex-captain of the Bangladesh national cricket team, Shakib Al Hasan, is featured in a video on the social media platform Facebook, promoting a betting site. The video has also been circulated as advertisements on Facebook. However, upon verification, it was revealed that the video had been edited, and Shakib did not engage in any campaign for a betting site. The reel was created by editing another video of Shakib.

In the initial part of the video, Shakib is heard stating that he has a gift for the audience. Subsequently, the video promotes the opening of a new government-licensed mobile casino in Bangladesh, actively seeking new players and offering substantial bonuses as an incentive. Shakib urges viewers to download the application, highlighting that upon registration and deposit, a gift of Tk 32,500 will be provided. The video ends with Shakib saying to the audience that “download the app and play with me.” The caption of the reel says- “BD🎰 Everyone’s winning – you can too! 🎰 BD 💵 We have already paid ৳10,000,000 to the Bengalis. BD Play and earn without risk 🔥 We pay out winnings within 3 minutes.”

Verification by Dismislab shows that this video has been edited. While tracing the source of the video, a similar video was found on Shakib’s verified Facebook page. The video was uploaded to Facebook in June 2023. It was a promotional video for Nagad, a digital financial service. The fake video reel was made by editing the first 19 to 40 seconds of the original footage. 

The edited video replaces the original video’s audio with the betting site’s promotional audio. So far, over 2500 people have reacted to the reel, and 41 have shared it. 251 people commented on the thread. While some acknowledged it as genuine others claimed it was made by AI. Assuming the video is true, one user said, “Mr. MP now promotes gambling”. “Businessman,” another user wrote. Commenting that the video was made with AI, one user wrote, “The AI cheats have begun. Who knows what will happen next. Everyone, beware!!”

This fake video of Shakib was also circulated on Facebook in the form of advertisement. Two ads for this video can be found in Facebook’s ad library from February 15th and 16th. Advertisements were still running at the time of writing this report.

The page from which this fake video was uploaded and the ads were played – is called AsapSCIENCE. The last post on the page was about 3 years ago. After April 8, 2021, no more posts were made from this Facebook page. Earlier, several science related videos have been uploaded on the page. The Facebook page also has a website link. There you can also find Instagram, YouTube and X (formerly Twitter) accounts with the same name. All account details state that it is operated from Canada.

But, at present, there are 29 admins on this Facebook page, none of them are from Canada, instead 14 admins are from Vietnam. That is to say, almost half of the admins managing the page are from the same country. According to a study of Dismislab regarding Facebook hacking, a large portion of Facebook’s fraudulent activity campaigns originate from the Philippines and Vietnam. Users of many countries including Bangladesh have been victims of this fraud.

In the edited video, the betting app or mobile casino that Shakib is talking about, and which he asks everyone to download, is called ElonBet. In the video, the name of this app can be seen floating.

This is not the first time that fake videos have been spread about the app named Elonbet. Earlier too, this betting site ran a campaign through an ad, making a fake video of Mustafizur Rahman, another Bangladeshi cricketer.

Another video of the betting site featuring Shakib was also seen circulating on Facebook. In the video, the campaign of the betting site called ‘Crazy Time‘ was launched from the page named ‘Bimanchalak Bangladesh‘. The edited video is actually a clip of an interview given by Shakib to the sports-related website Cricbuzz.