Employee defrauded £20 million in deep fake video scam

Company warns of the convincing nature of video deep fakes.

An employee at London-based engineering group Arup was convinced to make £20 million of transactions, after a deep fake video scammer pretended to be a senior financial officer of the firm.

Read the full story here

The employee first received an email from the fraudster, asking the staff member to be prepared to make financial transactions and to attend a video conference involving multiple senior leaders. The email felt suspicious, but the employee decided to attend the video meeting to ensure the authenticity of their instructions. 

The fraudster then used AI to create a realistic replica of the company’s Chief Financial Officer and other senior officers – often called deep fakes. These complex filters or live digital manipulations convincingly change the appearance of the person to resemble someone else. 

During the video call, the staff member was instructed by the fake CFO to make 15 payments totalling around £20 million. 

Only later did the staff member realise the video conference was likely fraudulent, and they reported the incident to police. 

This story highlights the terrifying reality of AI and deep fake technology in the fraud space. Imagine being on a video call with what you thought was the Chief Financial Officer of your organisation, and telling them you won’t transfer the money as you suspect they are not real. The advancement of AI means this is now a very real possibility in your organisation. 

Preventing Fraud

VigilantPay can help detect fraudulent payments before they are submitted to the bank. By checking every letter and number of each of your batch payments, VigilantPay’s algorithms can detect change and suspicious transactions – highlighting them before you submit a batch payment to the bank.

If you want to learn more about protecting your business against deep fake and AI scams, reach out to us today. 

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