A reported finance worker in Hong Kong is finding out the hard way about responding to a suspicious query. According to reports, the unidentified Hong Kong worker got scammed by way of a deepfake AI into sending $25m to scammers.
REMINDER: We cannot believe we have to say this but if you’re engaging with others via video call; e-mail, or other medium that AI could be involved in let this be an example that you should verify you are speaking to a real person or persons. We are now living in times where the likeness of someone else can be easily duplicated and appear really life like.
According to Chines media reports, the scam unfolded after the man received a video call from a group of executives he thought were real people typically involved with the unidentified business. Instead, all of the parties on the other end of that telephone call were actually generated by deepfake AI technology. At some point in initial e-mails and then the video call, the man claimed per reports that he was instructed to carry out a secret transaction that failed to set off red flags.
In this particular scam, the fraudsters posed as the CFO of the unidentified company and the CFO ‘s would be colleagues all of which were publicly available online as far as information and video footage. Like many AI scams, deekfake technology can actually manipulate already existing video footage to display itself as something entirely different. We know this sounds sci-fi folks but this is real life now.
“(In the) multi-person video conference, it turns out that everyone [he saw] was fake,” senior superintendent Baron Chan Shun-ching told the city’s public broadcaster RTHK. Local reports show that there have been numerous cases of such scams in China alone, some of which police have made at least six arrests in connection with.