June 19, 2024

Deepfake scams: How to protect your business from financial fraud

Deepfake rwk goodman

Recent events have highlighted a frightening new type of fraud using deepfake technology. In Hong Kong, a finance worker at a multinational company was tricked into transferring $25 million to fraudsters. These criminals used deepfake technology to pose as the company’s chief financial officer and other staff members in a video conference call. Here’s the steps you need to know to protect yourself and your business.

What is Deepfake Technology?

Deepfake technology uses artificial intelligence to create incredibly realistic fake videos and audio. These forgeries can look and sound just like real people, making it very difficult to tell what’s real and what’s fake. The law regarding deepfake is emerging and is likely to be something considered under the next government. Currently, UK law does not specifically address deepfake technology used for financial fraud. While certain aspects may be covered under broader fraud and cybercrime laws, there is a gap in legislation explicitly targeting the creation and use of deepfakes.

Legal Challenges and Solutions

Identifying the Perpetrators

Tracking down and identifying the fraudsters behind deepfake scams is very difficult due to the sophisticated technology and anonymity of the internet, thankfully tracking down the stolen assets is often simpler due to the financial paper trail.

Asset Tracing and Freezing

Once a fraud has taken place it is important to get expert legal advice to assist you with identifying where the assets have gone and the recovery process. Time is of the essence in this situation, the longer it is left the more likely it is that the fraudsters have dissipated the assets and they cannot be recovered.

Investigations: We work with forensic accountants, private investigators and financial institutions to trace the movement of the stolen assets. This involves analysing bank records, financial transactions and digital footprints to identify where the assets have been transferred.

Injunctions: In order to stop the fraudsters from dissipating the stolen assets applying to the court for a freezing injunction (also known as a Mareva injunction) is usually the first step. This prevents the fraudsters from dissipating the assets, ensuring that there is something to recover once the case is resolved.

Worldwide Freezing Orders: In cases where assets are held in multiple jurisdictions, as is likely the case with frauds of this nature, obtaining a worldwide freezing order to prevent the fraudsters from moving their assets to another country could be key to protecting your interest.

Data Protection

Fraudsters often use stolen personal information. Ensuring compliance with data protection laws under the Data Protection Act 2018 is crucial to prevent misuse of your personal data. Proving that deepfake technology was used in a scam requires expert forensic analysis, which will take time and money.  Having robust GDPR policies in place will reduce the risk of fraudsters obtaining the data to orchestrate a scam.

How to Protect Yourself

Strong Verification Processes

Implementing strong verification processes for all high-value transactions is essential. This includes using multi-layered authentication and directly confirming requests through secure channels.

Technological Solutions

Invest in advanced technologies that can detect deepfakes. These tools can help you identify fraudulent videos and audio before any damage is done.

Public Awareness and Training

Stay informed about the latest fraud techniques and regularly train your employees to recognise suspicious activities. Awareness and education are key to preventing fraud.


The risks associated with deepfake technology and AI continue to evolve, they pose increasingly insidious and sophisticated threats that can infiltrate even the most secure systems. The potential for devastating financial losses and irreparable reputational damage is real and imminent. Staying vigilant and proactive is not just important—it’s critical to your survival in this digital age. Even the creation of this blog post involved AI assistance, underscoring just how pervasive and powerful these technologies have become in shaping our communication and understanding.

If you have any concerns or need assistance in protecting your business from such sophisticated scams, we are here to help. Our team is dedicated to providing the legal support you need to navigate these challenges.

More articles from these areas:

View more articles related to Financial Services, Intellectual Property and Tech