Scammers Using Artificial Intelligence to Clone Voices – NBC Chicago

A police department in southern Wisconsin is warning residents about a new scam in which swindlers clone a relative’s voice in an attempt to appear legitimate.

In a Facebook post on May 8, the Beloit Police Department said it received a report from a resident who provided money to someone who “sounded like their relative.” While police aren’t able to say for certain if the scam used artificial intelligence, they did say that “we want our community to be aware that this technology is out there.”

AI scams have recently increased, so much so that the Senate Special Committee on Aging sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission on Friday, requesting information on the agency’s efforts to protect older Americans from such scams, according to a news release.

These scams are easier to pull of that one might think – all scammers need is a short audio clip of your loved one’s voice and a voice-cloning program.

Oftentimes scam victims may receive calls from people claiming to be relatives who have been kidnapped, landed in jail or have been involved in an accident and are in desperate need of money.

So, how do you know if it’s actually your family member or a scammer who has cloned their voice?

First, call the person who supposedly contacted you and verify the story, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Make sure to use a phone number you know is theirs. If you can’t reach your loved one, try to get in touch with them through another relative or friends.

Scammers often ask for victims to wire money, send cryptocurrency, or buy gift cards and give them the card numbers and PINs. So, if any of those requests are made, you might have gotten involved in a scam.

To help prevent AI scams, check privacy settings on social media accounts and double check which information you publicize on those accounts. The more information that is publicly available, the more scammers can use to convince someone they are legitimate.

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