To highlight the growth in the capabilities of fraudsters, banking brand HSBC has released a technologically advanced campaign that uses artificial intelligence to show the faces behind the voices of those behind the scams.  

The education campaign “Faces of Fraud” was developed by Wunderman Thompson. It follows a forecast from payment processing firm Merchant Savvy that payment fraud will cost the public $40.62 billion in 2027.

The campaign uses an AI that through only voice data is able to identify a person’s characteristics including gender, ethnicity, weight and age to predict what the face of a fraudster may look like. It was developed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh using actual voice recordings of fraudsters fed into the “voice-to-face” neural network, which would then generate facial composites based on the “audible DNA” provided.

Dr. Rita Singh, professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said in a statement, “There is certainly the impetus of science behind this endeavor, but such ingenious use of this technology exemplifies the ultimate power of human creativity in societal advancement.”

She added that when approached to work with Wunderman Thompson, her team felt it “tremendously gratifying” to see their years of research come to fruition.

Using Epic Games’ Unreal engine platform “Metahumans,” Wunderman Thompson was able to animate the faces through motion capture to allow them to then front the campaign. This is made up of a series of online tutorials, which outline the creation of the faces, as well as how to detect a scam. It’s hosted on a dedicated HSBC campaign microsite and YouTube.

Bas Korsten, global chief creative officer at Wunderman Thompson, explained that no one was immune from fraud and hopes that HSBC’s technology can help tackle the problem.

“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,” Korsten added.


Global Chief Creative Officer: Bas Korsten

Chief Creative Officer: Steve Aldridge

Executive Creative Director: Tom Drew

Global Creative Director: Carl Lundqvist

Creative Director and Copywriter: Jason Berry

Dr. Yandong Wen, Carnegie Mellon University 

Prof. Rita Singh, Carnegie Mellon University 

Copywriter: Josh Baggott

Art Director: Sam Huckle

Senior Account Director: Tim Manners

Account Director: Madeleine Webb

Strategy Director: Pierce Calnan

Senior Creative Technologist: Jono Hunt

Executive Producer: Bella Danon

Production Director: Leanne Page

Production Director: James Wilson

Designer: Sandra Hiralal

Editor: Precious Salazar

Editor: Deri Watt

Integrated Programme Director: Julian Poole