Revealing the real faces of fraud

With trillions of dollars stolen every year by sophisticated fraudsters, Wunderman Thompson have created a global fraud prevention campaign (for HSBC) to educate the public about the tactic’s fraudsters use to scam them.  

Fraud is a growing problem, with global losses from payment fraud expected to hit £40.6 billion by 2027, a 25% increase from 2020 levels. 

In a world’s first, ‘The Faces of Fraud’ campaign uses a pioneering AI that can identify characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, weight and age to predict what a fraudster’s face might look like based on voice data. 

Wunderman Thompson worked together with Carnegie Mellon University, to feed in voice recordings of actual fraudsters into the ‘voice to face’ neural network to generate face composites that predict facial features based on the speaker’s unique ‘audible DNA’.

The predicted faces of the fraudsters informed the creation of various digital humans using Epic Game’s Unreal engine creation platform ‘Metahumans’.

Wunderman Thompson then brought these digital ‘fraudsters’ to life using motion capture.

The ‘faces of fraud’ share their fraud tricks with the public in a series of on-line tutorials which finally put a face to a faceless crime, from romance to investment fraud. 

Bas Korsten, Global CCO at Wunderman Thompson added: “There’s a distinct shame around being taken in by fraud and no-one is immune. 

We’re proud to have helped HSBC develop this pioneering piece of technology and place them firmly at the forefront of this ever-evolving fraud landscape. 

Our hope is that by giving these fraudsters a face, we can educate the public on the tactics that are used to scam them out of their hard-earned money, and lower the rate of fraud across the world.”

Jason Berry and Carl Lundqvist, Creative Directors at Wunderman Thompson, said: “With fraud constantly evolving and new tactics and tricks being used every day, anti-fraud communication needed to step up its game and take some of the power away from the criminals. 

This amazing technology allowed us to unmask the fraudsters and educate the public in a much more impactful way.” he added

Dr Rita Singh, Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, comments: “There is certainly the impetus of science behind this endeavour, but such ingenious use of this technology exemplifies the ultimate power of human creativity in societal advancement. 

When my team was approached by Wunderman Thompson to help HSBC, we were ecstatic and honoured to be able to do so. 

It’s tremendously gratifying for us to see years of research come to fruition in this way and we hope it helps to keep people safe from fraudsters.”


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