New Delhi: The prevalence of deepfakes on the internet often impersonating prominent figures for malicious intent has become increasingly alarming. A similar incident occurred in Hong Kong where scammers utilized deepfake technology to fabricate a video meeting, resulting in the astonishing theft of $25.6 million. This incident underscores the significant risks posed by deepfake technology and highlights the urgent need for measures to combat its misuse.
As per a South China Morning Post report, a similar incident occurred with a Hong Kong-based company. Scammers utilized highly sophisticated deepfake technology to deceive the company’s local branch during a manipulated video conference call. Allegedly, the fraudsters digitally impersonated the company’s Chief Financial Officer to issue instructions for money transfers. (Also Read: Bumble Introduces AI-Driven Feature To Block Spam, Scams, And Fake Profiles; Check Details)
According to the publication, all individuals participating in the video calls except for the victim were fake representations of actual people. “The scammers applied deepfake technology to turn publicly available video and other footage into convincing versions of the meeting’s participants,” the report said. (Also Read: Telegram Redesigns Voice And Video Calls In Its New Update; Check Out The Changes)
According to the Hong Kong Police, this scam is unprecedented in Hong Kong’s history. “This time, in a multi-person video conference, it turns out that everyone you see is fake,” Baron Chan Shun-ching, the acting senior superintendent, was reported as saying.
The officer further added “They used deepfake technology to imitate the voice of their targets reading from a script.” In total, 15 transfers were conducted totaling HK $25.6 million and were sent to multiple bank accounts in Hong Kong.
This incident comes after several instances of celebrity deepfakes that have garnered attention online. Last year, there was an incident involving Indian actress Rashmika Mandanna where her face was superimposed onto a video of an online influencer. More recently, fake explicit videos purportedly featuring singer Taylor Swift have also circulated widely on the internet.