Who: A multinational company's Hong Kong branch fell victim to an advanced deepfake scam, resulting in a significant financial loss of approximately US$25.6 million. The targeted employee was deceived by digitally manipulated versions of the company's CFO and others during a video call.
What: During the deepfake scam, the employee, a finance worker, was tricked into transferring funds totaling $25 million to unauthorized accounts after seeing manipulated versions of colleagues in a video call. The scammers used publicly available footage to create convincing deepfake recreations of meeting participants, with the CFO issuing fraudulent instructions.
How: Scammers manipulated publicly available footage to create convincing deepfake versions of the company's CFO and colleagues. During the digitally altered video call, the CFO issued fraudulent instructions leading to the unauthorized transfer of funds. The finance worker transferred the money to five bank accounts in 15 transactions. The scam was discovered after the employee shared information with the company's head office. The incident lasted a week, and authorities are investigating this first-of-its-kind deepfake scam involving a substantial financial loss. The case highlights the increasing sophistication of scammers and the need for heightened awareness and training to identify and resist such scams.