USD 35m voice cloning heist

October 2021

According to a new Forbes report, Dubai investigators have discovered an elaborate scam in which deepfake technology was used to clone the voice of a company director and defraud his company of USD 35 million.

About to make an acquisition, the company needed its bank to authorise a series of transfers. A bank employee was fooled by the deepfaked voice into authorising the transfer of the cash, believing it was a legitimate business transaction.

UAE authorities reckon the scheme involved at least 17 people. It is the second known case of fraudsters using deep voice tools to carry out a heist, and much the largest.

Operator: Anonymous/pseudonymous
Developer: Anonymous/pseudonymous
Country:
UAE/Dubai
Sector:
Banking/financial services
Purpose:
Defraud
Technology:
Deepfake - audio
Issue:
Ethics; Fraud
Opacity: Governance