Chinese authorities have reported an alarming case in which a scammer utilized artificial intelligence (AI) to deceive a businessman.
The victim, identified only as Guo, received a video call last month from an individual who appeared and sounded exactly like a close friend.
However, unbeknownst to Guo, the caller was an imposter employing “smart AI technology” to alter their appearance and voice, to masquerading as the trusted friend.
EKO HOT BLOG reports that Chinese authorities have reported an alarming case in which a scammer utilized artificial intelligence (AI) to deceive a businessman and orchestrate a fraudulent scheme, resulting in a loss of millions of yuan.
According to an article published on Monday by a government-affiliated media portal in Fuzhou, the victim, identified only as Guo, received a video call last month from an individual who appeared and sounded exactly like a close friend.
However, unbeknownst to Guo, the caller was an imposter employing “smart AI technology” to alter their appearance and voice, effectively masquerading as the trusted friend.
Under the guise of friendship, the scammer manipulated Guo into transferring 4.3 million yuan ($609,000). They claimed that another mutual acquaintance required the funds to be transferred from a company bank account in order to fulfill a guarantee for a public tender.
To deceive Guo further, the fraudster asked for his personal bank account details and subsequently sent a fraudulent payment record, supposedly showing an equivalent amount deposited into Guo’s account.
Trusting the authenticity of the caller due to the verified face and voice recognition, Guo proceeded to make two payments from his company account, totaling the requested amount. It was only after contacting his real friend, whose identity had been stolen, that Guo realized the extent of the scam.
The true friend had no knowledge of the transaction, prompting Guo to immediately report the incident to the police.
Authorities swiftly intervened, alerting a bank in a different city to halt the transfers. As a result, Guo was able to recover 3.4 million yuan. Efforts to reclaim the remaining funds are ongoing, although the article did not disclose the identities of the perpetrators behind the elaborate scheme.
The incident sheds light on the potential dangers associated with AI technology, particularly as scammers continue to exploit its capabilities for fraudulent activities.
China has set ambitious goals to establish itself as a global leader in AI by 2030, with numerous tech companies racing to develop similar AI products. However, the rise of AI-driven scams has prompted increased scrutiny and regulatory measures.
In January, China implemented a law targeting deepfakes, prohibiting the production, publication, or transmission of false news using the technology.
Furthermore, a draft law proposed by Beijing’s internet regulator in April seeks to mandate a “security assessment” for all new AI products prior to their release to the public.
While AI presents groundbreaking opportunities across various sectors, the need to address its potential misuse and protect individuals from scams remains a significant challenge.
As technology continues to evolve, authorities and industry stakeholders must work together to strike a delicate balance between innovation and ensuring the security and well-being of users.
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