When a cryptocurrency executive started to receive messages thanking him for attending virtual meetings he had never been at, alarm bells rang.

Hackers had made a “deepfake” version of him, using videos to create a lifelike impression which they could deploy in attempted scams.

Patrick Hillman, chief communications officer at Binance, the world’s largest exchange by volume for trading cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, wrote in a blog post: “Over the past month I’ve received several online messages thanking me for taking the time to meet with project teams regarding potential opportunities to list their assets on Binance.com. This was odd because I don’t have any oversight of or insight into Binance listings, nor had I met with any of these people before.

“It turns out