Hong Kong Government Alerts Public to AI-Generated Scams Featuring Deepfake of Chief Executive

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Hong Kong’s government has issued a stark warning about the dangers of AI-generated fraud after a deeply fake video featuring chief executive John Lee Ka-chiu went viral. This fraudulent video depicts Lee endorsing an investment scheme with supposedly high returns. The government has denounced this as a fake creation, stressing the importance of public awareness about such fraudulent tactics.

This incident is part of a growing trend where fraudsters use sophisticated AI technology to create convincing deep fakes of public figures. In September 2022, the CEO’s office issued a similar warning when Lee’s image and fabricated quotes were used to lure people to a suspicious online trading platform. This platform falsely claims Lee’s endorsement of a cryptocurrency trading system, including a fabricated interview and a link to their site.

Such scams, generated by artificial intelligence, are becoming increasingly sophisticated, exploiting people’s trust in familiar faces and authorities. These scams vary in their approach, including fake video interviews with cloned voices of celebrities and even threats using doctored videos. For example, one victim lost HK$1,700 in computer game credits due to a fake video interview with a cloned voice of a bank executive. Another incident involved a man who was threatened with a video where his face was superimposed over obscene content.

Hong Kong police warned the public as early as July 2022 about the rise of AI-generated fraud. Police and government authorities stress the importance of being vigilant and verifying the authenticity of online promotions and content. The increasing sophistication of these frauds presents a significant challenge to law enforcement and requires continuous adaptation and collaboration between government, technology experts and law enforcement.

In the digital age, where artificial intelligence and technology play an increasingly important role, public awareness and skepticism are key to guard against such fraudulent practices. The Hong Kong government’s warnings emphasize the need for critical thinking and caution in the face of such advanced fraud schemes.​​​​

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