Nanning real estate sales facial recognition fraud

Occurred: December 2020

Customers of a real estate company in Nanning, China, had their properties sold without their knowledge by a dealer who used their facial information to access their bank details. 

The customers looking to sell their houses were instructed to verify their identities on the town's official 'Yonje Deng' app. 

The data was then used by an intermediary who was pretending to work at Nanning Youju Real Estate to transfer and mortgage the houses and pocket the proceeds.

The individual was later arrested by the police, and the app updated and made more secure. 

A year later, another Nanning resident was jailed for stealing USD 23,500 from his ex-girlfriend’s bank account by unlocking her phone with her fingerprint after he had drugged her, and then pulling up her eyelids while she was sleeping to activate her phone’s facial recognition feature.

System 🤖

Operator: Nanning Youju Real Estate; Nanning Natural Resources Bureau
Developer: Alipay
Country: China
Sector: Real estate sales/management
Purpose: Verify identity
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Security
Transparency: Governance