Man uses artificial intelligence to defraud victim $609,000
A scammer has defrauded a victim $609,000 in China. According to reports, the fraudster used artificial intelligence to defraud the victims millions of yuan, authorities have said. The victim, surnamed Guo, received a video call last month from a person who looked and sounded like a close friend. But the caller was actually a con artist “using smart AI technology to change their face” and voice, according to an article published Monday by a media portal associated with the government in the southern city of Fuzhou. The scammer was “masquerading as (Guo’s) good friend and perpetrating fraud”, the article said. Guo was persuaded to transfer 4.3 million yuan ($609,000) after the fraudster claimed another friend needed the money to come from a company bank account to pay the guarantee on a public tender. The con artist asked for Guo’s personal bank account number and then claimed an equivalent sum had been wired to that account, sending him a screenshot of a fraudulent payment record. Without checking that he had received the money, Guo sent two payments from his company account totalling the amount requested. “At the time, I verified the face and voice of the person video-calling me, so I let down my guard,” the article quoted Guo as saying. He only realised his mistake after messaging the friend whose identity had been stolen, who had no knowledge of the transaction. Guo alerted police, who notified a bank in another city not to proceed with the transfers, and he managed to recover 3.4 million yuan, the article said. It added that efforts to claw back the remaining funds were ongoing but it did not identify the perpetrators of the scheme. The potential pitfalls of groundbreaking AI technology have received heightened attention since US-based company OpenAI in November launched ChatGPT, a chatbot that mimics human speech. China has announced ambitious plans to become a global AI leader by 2030, and a slew of tech firms including Alibaba, JD.com, NetEase and TikTok parent ByteDance have rushed to develop similar products. ChatGPT is unavailable in China, but the American software is acquiring a base of Chinese users who use virtual private networks to gain access to it for writing essays and cramming for exams. But it is also being used for more nefarious purposes. This month police in the northwestern province of Gansu said “coercive measures” had been taken against a man who used ChatGPT to create a fake news article about a deadly bus crash that was spread widely on social media. A law regulating deepfakes, which came into effect in January, bans the use of the technology to produce, publish or transmit false news. And a draft law proposed last month by Beijing’s internet regulator would require all new AI products to undergo a “security assessment” before being released to the public.
Subsidy: Petrol hits N1,200 Per Litre in Ebonyi
Petrol now sells for N1,200 a litre in Ebonyi state, according to a report by NAN. The shocking change came after President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy. Resident of Abakaliki in Ebonyi state were forced to buy petrol at a staggering N1,200 on Tuesday, according to the report. Scores of residents, who decried the high cost of petrol in the country, said they have since been engaged in panic buying. Some residents were also seen with their cans as many filling stations were under lock. A resident, Darlington Okeke, said panic buying was occasioned by Tinubu’s statement during his inauguration on Monday. Okeke stated that petrol in filling stations was sold between N800 and N1,200, against N230 per litre. Another resident, Ibrahim Ali, said black marketers sold a litre of fuel for N1,500, adding that the development was causing panic buying and frustration among residents. He, however, appealed to Tinubu to address the situation to mitigate panic buying and arbitrary hoarding of the products, which marketers introduced after the announcement by the president. Meanwhile, staff of some filling stations, who spoke under condition of anonymity, disclosed that the management of the Petroleum Dealers Association, Ebonyi State chapter, ordered the closure of fuel stations. “We are waiting for further directives,” they told NAN. Efforts to speak with the state chairman of the association, Sailas Njaka, on the development were not successful.
Troops eliminate ISWAP top commanders, 55 terrorists in Borno
At least 55 Islamic State–West Africa Province terrorists have been eliminated by Nigerian troops. Those killed included top commanders of the terrorist group. The mission was carried out by the Multinational Joint Task Force in Arege, Malam Fatori, Abadam Local Government Area of Borno State. The Niger Ministry of Defence said that it conducted a 22-day operation tagged Operation HARBIN ZUMA, targeting ISWAP strongholds. The operation, it said, was coordinated by troops of Sector 3 and Sector 4 of the MNJTF. The operation started on May 6, 2023, and ended on Sunday, May 28. According to its report, several top ISWAP commanders, including Fiya Abouzeid, Qaïd Abou Oumama, and Qaïd Malam Moustapha, as well as some religious leaders whose identities are unknown, were killed during the 22-day Operation HARBIN ZUMA. The Niger-Nigerian Air Task Force and land forces worked together to locate the enemy and cause significant damage. The troops destroyed 13 vehicles, 13 motorcycles and five Vehicles Borne Improvised Explosive Devices. Two soldiers from Nigérienne Sector 4 MNJTF were killed, three were slightly wounded, and one phantom Mrap was damaged during the operation. However, The Niger Ministry did not disclose any casualties on the Nigerian side. The main aim of Operation HARBIN ZUMA was to neutralise terrorists in their stronghold in Aregé, Nigeria. The operation also aimed to maintain pressure on the Islamic State in West Africa and eliminate any presence of armed terrorist groups in the BOSSO, BAGA, GOUDOUMBALI, and GASHIGAR areas. The operation also planned to cut off all supply routes for armed terrorist groups and reduce the threat in the region.
I pray Atiku succeeds in Nullifying Tinubu’s victory – Omokri
A former presidential aide, Reno Omokri has asked God to help Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party to nullify President Bola Tinubu’s victory. Omokri took to social media to pray to God. The staunch Atiku’s ally applauded Tinubu for his bold statement on subsidy removal, meeting the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, same day he assumed office. Tweeting, Omokri said unlike the immediate last president, Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu started work immediately he assumed office. According to Omokri: “Making a bold statement on subsidy removal and backing it up with action. Meeting Godwin Emefiele, then Mele Kyari.“Making a string of appointments. Asserting his authority over the DSS in their face-off with the EFCC.“Tinubu, unlike Buhari, has hit the ground running. I sincerely pray that our petition will succeed and President Tinubu’s election will be nullified.“But be that as it may, I must commend the actions of his first 24 hours in office.”
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