British Foreign Minister falls victim to fake video call

  • Author, Jake Lapham
  • Role, BBC News

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has been the victim of a prank call in which someone pretended to be former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the British Foreign Office (FCDO) said.

According to an FCDO spokesman, numerous text messages were also exchanged between the fraudster and Lord Cameron in which he expressed regret for his mistake.

“Although it was obvious that the video call was a call from Mr Poroshenko, the Foreign Minister became suspicious after the conversation,” the spokesman added.

The caller also asked for contact details, but Lord Cameron did not respond.

The spokesman said the “brief” call took place in the “last few days” but did not elaborate on who was behind the hoax or how they could contact Lord Cameron directly.

The FCDO said it had made details of the exchange public because it feared it may have been “manipulated”.

“The manipulation of the information environment is becoming more and more present.

“While the Secretary of State regrets his mistake, he believes it is important to denounce this behavior and step up efforts to combat the use of misinformation.”

Petro Poroshenko was President of Ukraine between 2014 and 2019.

During his time as Prime Minister, David Cameron had numerous contacts with the Ukrainian President, including meetings at international summits.

Image source, Getty Images

Image description, David Cameron and Petro Poroshenko at the European Council summit in Brussels in 2015

This is not the first time that Lord Cameron has been the victim of a prank call.

Number 10 said the caller claimed to be Robert Hannigan, then director of the government surveillance agency GCHQ.

Lord Cameron ended the conversation when it became clear that it was a hoax and no confidential information had been disclosed.