Beware Of Imposter Scams

Posted by Richard on August 15, 2023

Imposter scams are already bilking people out of money, but now, with the help of artificial intelligence, they will get much more convincing.

These scams are frequently directed at parents and grandparents. Fraudsters will call people and claim that a loved one, such as a child or grandchild, has been in a serious car accident, suffered some type of medical emergency, or been arrested. The criminals will say you need to hand over money immediately, if you want to help them. Sometimes scammers themselves claim to be the child or grandchild who needs money for bail or another crisis.

Now, scammers are using AI to fake the voices of your loved ones. When you pick up the phone, the voice may actually sound like your child or grandchild. Sometimes the imposter will claim someone is holding them hostage and you’ll need to pay a ransom. The criminal will sound just like your loved one, but the voice is created by a computer.
The Federal Trade Commission reports that consumers lost roughly $8.8 billion to scams in 2022. About $2.2 billion was lost to imposters, who may also impersonate bank or government authorities to get access to accounts or personal information that can be used for theft. Security software provider McAfee conducted a survey and found that across seven countries, 10 percent of people had been directly targeted by an AI scam.

If you end up getting a scary phone call, take a moment to consider whether it could be a scam. Don’t trust caller ID, which can be faked. Before you do anything, try to contact your loved one. If the caller claims to be from social security or the IRS, look up the number yourself and call to verify. These agencies won’t call you suddenly and they won’t threaten you. If the person on the phone asks for money by a gift card, or wire transfer, be suspicious.