According to police, a scammer in China employed artificial intelligence (AI) to pretend to be a businessman’s close buddy and persuade him to give him millions of yuan.
Last month, the victim, who goes by Guo, had a video contact from someone who appeared and sounded familiar.
According to an article posted on Monday by a media portal connected to the government in the southern city of Fuzhou, the caller was actually a con artist who “used smart AI technology to change their face” and voice.
According to the story, the con artist was “faking to be (Guo’s) good friend and committing fraud.”
Guo agreed to send 4.3 million yuan (R11.7 million) after being convinced by the con artist that another friend required the funds to come from a business bank account in order to cover the guarantee on a public tender.
Guo’s personal bank account number was requested, and the con artist then sent him a screenshot of a fake payment record while claiming an equivalent amount had been wired to that account.
Guo sent two payments totaling the requested amount from his corporate account without verifying that he had received the money.
“At the time, I verified the face and voice of the person video-calling me, so I let down my guard,” the article quoted Guo as saying.
After texting the friend whose identity had been taken and who was unaware of the transaction, he realized his error.
Guo reported the payments to authorities, who informed a bank in another city to stop them, and he was able to recover 3.4 million yuan, according to the newspaper.
It also stated that efforts were being made to recover the remaining monies, but it made no mention of who was responsible for the scam.
Since US-based company OpenAI in November released ChatGPT, a chatbot that mimics human speech, there has been more focus on the possible drawbacks of ground-breaking AI technology.
China has made bold intentions to lead the world in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030, and a number of digital companies, including Alibaba, JD.com, NetEase, and TikTok parent ByteDance, have hurried to capitalize on developing similar products.
Although ChatGPT is not available in China, a growing number of Chinese users are accessing it using virtual private networks to write essays and study for tests. But it’s also being applied to more sinister ends.
This month, police in the province of Gansu in China reported that “coercive measures” had been taken against a guy who had used ChatGPT to fabricate a news story about a fatal bus accident that had been widely shared online.
Legislation governing deep fakes went into force in January and prohibits the use of the technology to create, distribute, or publish false news.
Additionally, a draft rule put up by Beijing’s internet watchdog last month would demand that all new AI products go through a “security assessment” before being made available to the general public.