China Cracks Down on AI Fraud, Arrests Multiple Suspects

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Chinese authorities have taken decisive steps to tackle a rising issue involving fraudsters who are using artificial intelligence (AI) to manipulate people’s appearances. In their efforts, they’ve successfully uncovered and dealt with 79 connected cases, leading to the apprehension of 515 individuals.

As reported by Chinese media, the Ministry of Public Security of China held a press conference on August 10 to highlight the success of a nationwide campaign to counter unlawful activities that exploit people’s private data, including instances where AI is misused to alter faces for fraudulent purposes.

Earlier, a state-operated Chinese newspaper, on July 2, shed light on instances of fraud within the country that utilize “artificial intelligence facial recognition technology.” Some of these incidents even involved political figures, where wrongdoers employed AI to impersonate leaders and commit deceitful acts. By gathering ample visual and auditory content, these culprits employed software to modify images and create fabricated visuals and audio to carry out their fraudulent deeds.

During the press conference, Ly Dong, Deputy Director of China’s Ministry of Public Security’s Cybersecurity Bureau, explained that those involved in face-altering scams predominantly rely on documents, particularly identification photos, in conjunction with names and ID numbers to navigate past facial recognition systems.

To enhance security, Chinese law enforcement has collaborated with various agencies to evaluate the reliability of facial recognition technology, especially in applications with significant user bases. This proactive approach has enabled them to promptly identify potential vulnerabilities in the facial recognition verification process, ensuring that service providers are alerted to enhance security protocols and facial recognition algorithms.

Ly Dong further shared that Chinese law enforcement undertook a special initiative called “Clean Network” to target the sources of illicitly leaked image data, including ID photos. This operation has resulted in the resolution of 79 cases involving AI-driven face-changing scams, leading to the arrest of 515 individuals involved in these criminal activities. These actions have effectively curbed the growth of such technologically advanced criminal schemes.

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