• May 15, 2023

Scammers Use AI to Enhance Family Emergency Scams

Scammers Use AI to Enhance Family Emergency Scams

Scammers Use AI to Enhance Family Emergency Scams 1000 587 Consumer & Business

You get a call. There’s a panicked familiar voice on the line. It’s your grandson saying he’s in deep trouble. He wrecked the car and landed in jail, but you can help by sending money. You take a deep breath and think. You’ve heard about grandparent scams. But it sounds just like him, how could it be a scam? Voice cloning, that’s how.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a far-fetched idea out of a sci-fi movie. We’re living with it, here and now. A scammer could use AI to clone the voice of your loved one. All he needs is a short audio clip of your family member’s voice — which he could get from content posted online — and a voice-cloning program. When the scammer calls you, he’ll sound just like your loved one.

So how can you tell if a family member is in trouble or if it’s a scammer using a cloned voice? Here are some tips you can use to protect yourself from Family Emergency Scams:

  • Don’t trust the voice! Use a phone number you know is theirs and call the person who supposedly contacted you to verify the story.
  • If you can’t reach your loved one, try to get in touch with them through another family member or their friends.
  • Protect yourself in advance by setting up a family code word – a word or phrase only you and your family members know – and ask the caller for the code word before you do anything else.

Scammers may ask you to pay or send money in ways that make it hard to get your money back. If the caller says to wire money, send cryptocurrency, or buy gift cards and give them the card numbers and PINs, those could be signs of a scam.

If you spot a scam, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

Check  DCBA Smarter Seniors and Scam Alerts regularly to learn about recent scams and how to avoid them.

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