(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula online
Doha, Qatar: A crafty fraudster in China employed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to swindle a businessman out of $612,000 from his company's bank account.
The police of Baotou, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, had been keen on raising awareness of what they called“an emerging form of AI fraud” after a victim was tricked into transferring money via a company account after having a video chat with someone pretending to be their friend.
According to ChinaDaily, the victim – who identified as Guo- received a video call via the Chinese application WeChat in April from an individual who bore a striking resemblance, both visually and audibly, to one of his close relatives.
Unbeknownst to Guo, the person on the other end of the line was a cunning imposter who had harnessed AI technology to alter their facial features.
This deceptive fraudster convinced Guo that another friend desperately needed substantial money.
Manipulating Guo's trust, the scammer succeeded in persuading him to transfer a hefty amount of 4.3 million yuan (equivalent to approximately $612,000) from his company's bank account.
The imposter even provided a bank account number and sent a screenshot of the purported bank transfer voucher as proof of the funds being credited to Guo's company.
"The person on the other side didn't ask me to lend him money during the chat. 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," Guo told ChinaDaily.
"He spoke with me via video call, and I confirmed his face and voice in the video. That's why I let my guard down," he added.
Guo's friend later informed him that h had not made any video call or requested any money transfer, promptly alerted the Fuzhou police.
Upon discovering an account associated with Mengshang Bank in Baotou, the Fuzhou police swiftly contacted their counterparts in Baotou to intervene and halt the payment.
The Baotou police, with the assistance of the bank, retrieved approximately 3.37 million yuan ($476,000).
931,600 yuan ($131,600) had already been transferred, but the Baotou police assured the public that they are actively working to recover them.
The police did not clarify whether the suspect had been apprehended or not.