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How much did one worker pay out in a virtual meeting deepfake scam?

Answer: About 25 million U.S. dollars.

A yellow road sign that says "scam alert."
We may have to start texting our coworkers before joining a meeting to make sure they’re actually in it. An employee at a multinational firm recently fell victim to an elaborate deepfake scam in a virtual meeting.

The employee, based in Hong Kong, received a message from the company’s U.K.-based chief financial officer requesting a video call to discuss the need for a secret transaction. While the employee was initially suspicious, when they joined the video call they saw not only the CFO but a number of other employees that they were familiar with. So they agreed to remit 200 million Hong Kong dollars, the equivalent of about 25.6 million U.S. dollars, at the CFO’s request.

It wasn’t until later when the employee checked with the company’s head office that they discovered that the meeting had been a fake. The CFO and all the other employees who appeared in the video call were actually deepfake re-creations of the real people. Hong Kong police, who detailed the incident in a recent press briefing, declined to name the employee or company, but stated that they have made six arrests in connection with these types of scams.