Fraudsters used deepfake technology to defraud an employee at a branch of a multinational company and stole nearly $25 million, local media reported, citing Hong Kong police, Business Insider reported.
In January, an employee in the company's financial department received a letter from someone claiming to be the UK-based company's chief financial officer, the South China Morning Post reported, citing police.
After this the employee made a video call with the company's CFO and other employees of the company and found out that they were all using deep fake technology.
According to Business Insider, based on instructions received during that call, the employee transferred 200 million Hong Kong dollars, equivalent to US$25.6 million, to various Hong Kong bank accounts through 15 transfers.
A week passed after the fraud, the employee contacted the company's headquarters to confirm, and then realized something was wrong.
Hong Kong police did not name the company or employees involved. According to the website, he said scammers created fake images of meeting participants based on publicly available video and audio footage.
According to the media, the investigation is still ongoing, but no one has been arrested.
Videos faked by technology are raising global concerns. Star Taylor Swift is one of the latest celebrities to fall victim to a fake sex video using deepfake technology, which spread widely on the X platform and Telegram last month.
Many politicians are calling for a federal law to combat deepfakes.
In May 2023, Democratic Representative Joseph Morrell introduced the Intimate Deepfake Prevention Act, which would make it illegal to share deepfake pornography without consent. The draft legislation was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.