A finance worker at a leading multinational company was reportedly deceived into transferring $25 million to fraudsters using advanced deepfake technology to impersonate the firm’s chief financial officer and other company executives during a Zoom video meeting.
CNN reports that the scam unfolded as the unsuspecting employee was invited into a video conference with individuals he believed were his colleagues. However following an investigation, the Hong Kong police discovered that the entire video call setup was fabricated using deepfake technology. Senior Superintendent Baron Chan Shun-Ching detailed to RTHK, Hong Kong’s public broadcaster, how the finance worker was tricked by artificial recreations of several senior executives, marking a new era in the sophistication of cyber fraud.
The employee was initially suspicious after receiving an email about a secretive transaction from the company’s UK-based CFO, but these doubts were put to rest during a video call. The deepfake representations were convincing enough to mimic the appearance and voice of known colleagues, leading the worker to authorize a transfer of approximately $25.6 million (200 million Hong Kong dollars).
This incident is part of a growing trend where criminals exploit deepfake technology to commit fraud. Hong Kong police announced the arrest of six individuals connected to similar schemes. From July to September of the previous year, these criminals utilized eight stolen Hong Kong identity cards to apply for 90 loans and register 54 bank accounts, employing AI deepfakes to deceive facial recognition systems on at least 20 occasions.
The fraudulent transaction was only uncovered after the employee verified the details with the company’s headquarters, leading to a police investigation. The identities of the company and the victim have not been disclosed by the authorities.
Read more at CNN here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.