In January, an employee in the company’s finance department received a message from someone claiming he was the company’s CFO based in the United Kingdom, South China Morning Post reported, citing police. The employee then had a video call with the company’s CFO and other company employees, 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 Hong Kong bank accounts in 15 transfers, according to the SCMP.
It was a week after the scam started,It was when the employee contacted the company’s headquarters that he realized something was wrong.
Hong Kong police did not name the company or the employees involved. They said the scammers created deepfakes of meeting attendees based on publicly available video and audio footage, according to the SCMP.
The scammed employee did not interact with the deepfakes during the video conference, according to the news outlet.
Investigations continue, but no arrests have been made, according to the media.
Deepfake videos are causing global concern. Superstar Taylor Swift is one of the latest to be caught in a wave of sexually explicit deepfake videos that have gone viral. X and Telegram last month.
In May 2023, Democratic Representative Joseph Morelle introduced the Intimate Image Deepfake Prevention Act which would make it illegal to share non-consensual deepfake pornography. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.