A man in China’s Fujian province lost a whopping 4.3 million yuan (approximately $600,000) in 10 minutes to a scammer who harnessed the powers of artificial intelligence.
The incident reportedly occurred on April 20 when the victim, surnamed Guo, received a WeChat video call from someone he thought was his friend.
Using an AI program, the con artist mimicked the face and the voice of Guo’s friend and asked for his company’s bank information to bid on a certain project.
To convince Guo further, the fraudster claimed to have already transferred the money into Guo’s account and sent a screenshot of a fake bank transfer receipt.
“I received the video call. I verified the face and the voice. So I let my guard down,” Guo said, as per Global Times.
After making two separate transfers to the account the scammer had provided, Guo messaged his friend using his actual contact information. As expected, that friend denied knowledge of the transactions.
Guo immediately alerted police, who then alerted the scammer’s bank in another province against making the transfer.
Authorities managed to halt the transfer of 3.37 million yuan (around $476,000). The remaining 931,600 yuan (approximately $131,000), which was successfully transferred to the fraudster’s account, is now subject to retrieval efforts.
Police have previously warned the public against AI-powered schemes.
“The person on the other side didn’t ask me to lend him money during the chat,” Guo recalled, as per China Daily. “He said that he would transfer the money first, and then what I needed to do was transfer his money to his company’s account.”
China is reportedly working on relevant legislation against AI fraud.
In the meantime, authorities are urging the public to verify the opposite party’s identity through multiple channels before making financial transactions.