Scammers bypass WeChat Pay facial recognition security using gifs

Occurred: 2020

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Swindlers who used GIFs to trick WeChat's mobile payment service into verifying people’s identities and defrauding them were arrested by Chinese police.

One of the suspects told Hubei police that they would find selfies of their victims in their WeChat Moments feed and turn them into GIFs of the people doing identity-verifying actions, according to SixthTone.

As a deterrent to scammers, many Chinese set up facial recognition as an added security measure for online transactions on WeChat Pay, requiring them to blink or turn their heads to verify their identities. They would then transfer money from their victims' WeChat Pay accounts. 

The incidenst raised questions about the strength of WeChat Pay's security, and about the security of facial recognition systems more broadly. 


Developer: Tencent/WeChat
Country: China
Sector: Banking/financial services
Purpose: Verify customer identity
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Security