Fraud with artificial intelligence in China: he posed as a businessman’s friend and stole USD 600,000

The victim was not suspicious when she believed that she was talking to her friend and saw him on a video call

A chinese scammer used the artificial intelligence for impersonate a trusted friend of a businessman and convince him to hand over millions of yuan, authorities have stated.

The victim, surnamed Guo, received a video call last month from a person who looked and sounded like a close friend.

But the caller was actually a scammer who “used intelligent artificial intelligence technology to change his face” and his voiceaccording to an article published on Monday by a media portal associated with the government of the southern city of Fuzhou.

The scammer “posed as (Guo’s) good friend and perpetrated the fraud,” the article said.

Guo was persuaded to wire 4.3 million yuan ($609,000) after the scammer claimed another friend needed the money to come out of a company’s bank account to pay collateral for a public tender.

The scammer asked for Guo’s personal bank account number and then claimed that an equivalent sum had been transferred to that account, sending him a screenshot of a fraudulent payment record.

Without checking that he had received the money, Guo sent two payments from his company account totaling the requested amount.

“At that moment, I checked the face and voice of the video caller, so I let my guard downGuo states in the article.

AI to detect a deepfake on TikTok.  (photo: Olhar Digital)
There are some programs to detect “deepfakes”, but they are not widespread (photo: Olhar Digital)

He only realized his mistake after sending a message to the friend whose identity had been stolen, who had no knowledge of the transaction.

Guo notified the police, who notified a bank in another city not to proceed with the transfers, and managed to recover 3.4 million yuan., according to the article. He added that he was trying to recover the rest of the fundsbut did not identify the perpetrators of the scam.

Since US company OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a chatbot that mimics human speech, in November, attention has focused on the potential dangers of the innovative AI technology.

China has announced ambitious plans to become the world leader in AI by 2030and a number of tech companies including Alibaba,, NetEase and TikTok parent ByteDance have rushed to develop similar products.

ChatGPT is not available in China, but the American software is gaining a Chinese user base who use virtual private networks to access it to write essays and study for exams.

But it is also used for more nefarious purposes.

This month, police in the northwestern province of Gansu reported that “coercive measures” had been taken against a man who used ChatGPT to create a fake news story about a deadly bus accident that was widely shared on social media.

The law regulating deepfakeswhich came into force in January, prohibits the use of this technology to produce, publish or transmit false news.

And a bill proposed last month by Beijing’s internet regulator would require all new AI products to undergo a “safety assessment” before being released to the public.

(With information from AFP)

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