David Cameron Duped into Prank Call with Imposter Ex-Ukraine President, UK Admits

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron speaks during a joint press conference with Albani
ADNAN BECI/AFP via Getty Images

The British government admitted that Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron was duped into accepting a prank phone call from a hoaxer purporting to be a former Ukrainian president, in the latest example of a cabinet member being tricked in such a manner.

The UK Foreign Office said on Friday that David Cameron, the former British prime minister who now serves as the nation’s top diplomat, had exchanged a “number of text messages” and had a “brief video call” with a man pretending to be Petro Poroshenko, the former president of Ukraine, who led the country between 2014 and 2019.

Lord Cameron reportedly became wary of the prankster after the imposter Poroshenko had asked for the contact details of other senior British ministers upon which the foreign secretary ended the call, which is said to have occurred within the past few days, The Telegraph reports.

In a statement, the Foreign Office 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.”

The incident is not the first time that top ranking British government officials have been duped by prank phone calls in recent years. In 2022, then-Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was duped into speaking with a pair of Russian pranksters believed to be in the employ of the Kremlin.

The same duo had previously tricked former Home Secretary Priti Patel and ex-Culture Secretary Nadine Dories into speaking with them under false pretences.

The government decided to go public with the latest prank against Lord Cameron in order to warn others and to undercut attempts to manipulate video footage of Lord Cameron from the call.

“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.”

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

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