Scammers are using high-tech tricks to deceive people, and one of their latest methods is voice cloning scams with artificial intelligence (AI). They use AI-generated voices to pretend to be someone else, usually targeting unsuspecting victims for money or personal details.
The Rise of Voice Cloning Scams
One popular scam is called the “grandparent scam.” Scammers pretend to be family members in trouble, like saying they’ve been in an accident or facing legal problems, to pressure victims into sending money urgently. This plays on the emotions of victims, making them believe they’re helping a loved one when they’re actually falling for a scam.
Warnings from Authorities
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued alerts about the increase in AI-based scams, particularly those involving voice cloning. While companies like ElevenLabs, which make AI speech software, admit their technology could be misused, they haven’t specifically addressed its role in phone scams. This leaves room for more scrutiny and regulation.
Spotting Voice-Cloning Scams
Recognizing signs of these scams is vital to protect yourself. Red flags include unexpected calls from supposed family members, urgent requests for money through unconventional methods like wire transfers or gift cards, and demands for personal info while insisting on secrecy.
What You Can Do
If you suspect a voice-cloning scam, be cautious. Ask personal questions to verify the caller’s identity, reach out to trusted contacts to confirm the situation, and take time to think before acting.
Deepfake scams are another way AI is used to deceive people. They involve altered videos or audio recordings to trick victims into giving money or personal info, similar to voice-cloning scams. It’s essential to be vigilant and skeptical to identify and avoid the risks of deepfake scams.
Despite the misuse of AI in scams, it has positive uses in various industries like healthcare and finance. Responsible and ethical use of AI is crucial for its potential to drive positive change, as seen in initiatives like New York City’s Action Plan for Artificial Intelligence.
With the rise of AI-based scams, especially voice cloning and deepfake technologies, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and informed. By knowing the signs of scams, following recommended responses, and advocating for regulations, individuals can protect themselves and others from falling victim to fraud.