- Hong Kong police say a company lost $25 million after an employee was fooled by a deepfake version of a colleague.
- The individual was participating in a deepfake video call with the UK-based company's CFO and other colleagues.
- Hong Kong police said scammers had created a deepfake based on a publicly available video.
Fraudsters used deepfake technology to dupe employees of a multinational company's Hong Kong branch out of about $25 million, local media reported Sunday, citing Hong Kong police.
In January, an employee of the company's finance department received a message from someone claiming to be the UK-based company's chief financial officer, the South China Morning Post reported, citing police. That's what it means. The employee then made video calls with his CFO and other employees at the company, all of which turned out to be deepfakes.
Based on instructions received during that call, the employee transferred HK$200 million, or $25.6 million, to various bank accounts in Hong Kong on 15 separate occasions, according to SCMP.
A week has passed since the fraud incident, When the employee contacted corporate headquarters, they realized something was wrong.
Hong Kong police have not released the names of the companies or employees involved. According to SCMP, the scammers created deepfakes of meeting participants based on publicly available video and audio footage.
The outlet said the defrauded employees did not engage in deepfakes during the video conference.
According to the media, no arrests have been made, but the investigation is continuing.
Deepfake videos are causing global concern. Superstar Taylor Swift is one of the latest figures to be caught up in a wave of sexually explicit deepfake videos. Last month's X and Telegram.
Many politicians are calling for federal legislation to combat deepfakes.
In May 2023, Democratic Representative Joseph Morrell introduced the Intimate Image Deepfake Prevention Act, which would make it illegal to share deepfake pornography without consent. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.