(Yicai Global) May 23 -- Police in the northern Chinese city of Baotou have uncovered a deepfake fraud in which a man was scammed out of CNY4.3 million (USD610,000), the most so far stolen in China in this way.
A man named Guo from Fuzhou, Fujian province, received a video call on WeChat from a friend asking to borrow the money last month, the police said at a recent briefing. Guo transferred the funds to the bank account provided and was in no doubt that the call came from his friend, the officers added.
But an impersonator had used face-swap and voice-mimicking artificial intelligence technologies, the police said. At the request of the Fuzhou authorities, their colleagues in Baotou later intercepted some of the funds at a local bank, but nearly CNY1 million was unrecoverable.
A number of similar frauds have occurred around China as AI technology becomes more and more widely applied. The public security departments of Shanghai and Zhejiang province previously disclosed such cases.
In addition to direct scams, some frauds involve live commerce platforms where AI technology is used to replace the faces of live streamers, including those of stars and celebrities, to take advantage of their market appeal and fool people into buying goods.
An illegal industrial chain has formed with people using face-swapping technology for online scams, according to a report by China News Service's financial channel.
A website providing deepfake software services sells a complete set of models that can be used on various live-streaming platforms for only CNY35,000 (USD4,967), according to its customer service.
Editor: Martin Kadiev