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Deepfake scams soar 1,000% in Hong Kong

The city also had the highest identity fraud rate in fintech.

Even in some Asia-Pacific markets without upcoming elections, deep fake incidents are increasing, full-cycle verification provider Sumsub found.

One of these markets was Hong Kong, with deepfake scams surging by 1,000% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to a year ago.

It ranked behind Singapore with a 1,100% increase and China with an increase of 2,800%. These were all far above the global average growth of 245%.

Hong Kong also experienced the highest identity fraud rate in the fintech sector, with a 216% increase from a year ago. Singapore (142%), Thailand (138%), and Malaysia (108%) followed.

In APAC in Q1 2024, the most widespread fraud was identity document forgery, followed by fake documents and selfie mismatch. Among all these, fake documents contributed to 20% of total deepfake cases in Hong Kong, Sumsub said. 

“The only way forward is to fight AI with AI,” said Pavel Goldman-Kalaydin, head of AI/ML at Sumsub.

Whilst a multi-layered anti-fraud solution is available for businesses, content platforms and common users remain vulnerable to deepfakes, especially in light of the 2024 elections.

“Media platforms must stay vigilant, remaining aware and updating defences to detect deepfakes and prevent AI-generated fraud. They need to make sure they are not inadvertently contributing to the spread of misinformation,” he added.

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