Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has surged in popularity and usage among businesses and individuals. Many users have found ways to streamline commercial operations and personal hobbies using these programs; however, criminals have also developed means of weaponizing this technology, including by impersonating voices.
What Are AI Voice Scams?
Typically, AI voice scams are centered around a perpetrator using software programs to impersonate someone’s voice, often intending to steal money or personal information. Criminals develop this impression by acquiring a sample of someone’s voice, such as from videos available on social media or other websites, and uploading it into an AI program. This can allow the AI to “clone” the person’s voice, which may allow a scammer to create fake recordings.
Once scammers have created fake audio of someone’s voice, perpetrators may attempt to contact the victim’s family members or other parties that value the recorded person’s well-being. The criminals may use the recordings to trick targets into thinking that someone they care about is in an urgent or dangerous situation and needs money fast. Alternatively, scammers may attempt to contact someone while pretending to be a person able to be trusted with sensitive information, such as a banking representative.
How to Avoid AI Voice Scams
The following steps may help you detect and prevent AI voice scams:
- Use identity monitoring services to determine if your personal information was previously exposed in a data breach.
- Limit access to recordings of your voice by setting social media accounts to private and protecting them with strong and unique passwords or passphrases.
- Establish a code word to be used by family members, friends and business associates if they legitimately need assistance.
- Ask the caller questions that only the person they may be impersonating would know the answer to.
- Hang up if a call is suspicious and then call the alleged party back using their regular number.
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This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.