Hong Kong police disclosed that scammers employed cutting-edge deepfake technology to deceive a multinational corporation, resulting in a loss of approximately USD$3.3 million. This incident marks one of the earliest instances of such sophisticated fraud in the city.
Law enforcement agencies are grappling with the rapid advancement of generative artificial intelligence, which experts warn could be exploited for disinformation and manipulation, as seen in the creation of deepfake images portraying individuals uttering statements they never made.
According to reports, an employee of the company based in the financial hub of China received video conference calls from individuals posing as high-ranking company officials, urging the transfer of funds to specified bank accounts.
Although investigations are ongoing, no arrests have been made thus far, and the identity of the targeted company remains undisclosed. Media outlets in Hong Kong have revealed that the victim worked in the finance department and was duped into believing the impostors were the company's CFO based in the UK.
Acting Senior Superintendent Baron Chan shed light on the intricacies of the scam, explaining that the video conference involved multiple participants, all of whom were impersonated except for the victim. Chan further revealed that the scammers sourced publicly available video and audio recordings of their targets from platforms like YouTube, leveraging deepfake technology to mimic their voices convincingly.
The deepfake videos used in the scheme were prerecorded and lacked direct interaction with the victim.