Deepfake CFO steals $25 million from Hong Kong firm

Deepfake CFO steals $25 million from Hong Kong firm

According to the Hong Kong police, a finance worker at a multinational company was fooled into paying out $25 million to fraudsters over the course of a video conference call. The fraudsters used deepfake technology to pose as the chief financial officer of the company. Hong Kong police stated in a briefing on Friday that the worker was duped into attending a video call with what he believed to be several other members of staff, but all of them were in fact deepfake recreations. The elaborate scam involved the worker being fooled by attending the video call.

“In the video conference with many people, it turned out that everyone he saw was fake,” senior superintendent Baron Chan Shun-ching told RTHK, the main TV station in the city.

Chan stated that the employee had developed a sense of suspicion after receiving a message that was allegedly from the chief financial officer of the company who was based in the United Kingdom. At first, the employee had a strong suspicion that the email was a phishing scam because it mentioned the necessity of carrying out a transaction in secret. However, after the video call, the worker put his initial reservations to the side because other people in attendance had looked and sounded exactly like colleagues that he recognized, according to Chan. According to the police officer, the worker agreed to send a total of $200 million Hong Kong dollars, which is equivalent to approximately $25.6 million. This was because the worker believed that everyone else on the call was genuine.

Deepfake Scams on the Rise

The case is one of several recent instances in which fraudsters are believed to have used deepfake technology to modify publicly available video and other footage in order to defraud individuals out of their money. A press briefing was held on Friday, during which the Hong Kong police announced that they had made six arrests in connection with scams of this nature. 

Hong Kong Police Arrest Identity Theft Suspects Using AI

According to Chan, between July and September of the previous year, eight stolen Hong Kong identity cards were used to make 90 loan applications and 54 bank account registrations. All of the stolen cards had been reported as lost by their owners. By imitating the individuals depicted on the identity cards, artificial intelligence deepfakes were used to fool facial recognition programs on at least twenty separate occasions, as stated by the police department.

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