Warning: using AI to create fake images and voices to scam money
02:52:00 | 28-03-2024

Even if you make a video call and see a relative or friend's face and hear their voice, you're not necessarily talking to that person. Recently, many people have become victims of financial scams using Deepfake and the participation of AI - Artificial Intelligence.

Nguyen Thanh Huong (character's name has been changed) is an office worker in Hanoi. During a conversation with a friend via Facebook Messenger, Huong's friend said hello and ended the story but suddenly returned to texting, asking for a loan and offering to transfer money to a bank account. Even though the account name matched her friend's name, Huong was still suspicious so she asked for a video call to confirm. The friend agreed immediately, but the call only lasted a few seconds due to "internet failure", according to the friend's explanation. Having seen her friend's face on the video call and this person's voice, Huong no longer had any doubts and transferred the money. However, only after successfully transferring money did Huong realize she had fallen into a hacker's trap.


Images of bad guys using Facebook accounts to scam people and solicit loans

Not only Huong, many other victims who were friends and relatives of Huong's friend were also tricked in the same way. The amount of money the bad guys defrauded from that Facebook account amounted to tens of millions of dong.

In the second half of 2023, Bkav continuously received reports and requests for help from victims about similar fraud cases. According to Bkav experts, in Huong's case, the bad guys took control of the Facebook account but did not immediately take over it completely but silently monitored, waiting for an opportunity to pretend to be a victim to ask their friends and relatives to borrow money. They use AI to create a fake video impersonating the face and voice of the Facebook account owner (Deepfake). When asked to make a video call for authentication, they agreed to receive the call but then quickly disconnected to avoid detection.

Mr. Nguyen Tien Dat, General Director of Bkav's AntiMalware Research Center, said: "The ability to collect and analyze user data through AI allows the creation of sophisticated phishing strategies. This also means that the complexity of fraud scenarios when combining Deepfake and GPT will increase, making fraud identification much more difficult."

Bkav recommends that users especially increase vigilance, do not provide personal information (CCCD, bank account, OTP code...), do not transfer money to strangers via phone, social networks, websites. There are signs of fraud. When there is a request to borrow/transfer money to an account via social networks, other authentication methods such as calling or using other communication channels should be used to confirm.