Scam Alert: AI Mimicking Voices in Phone Scams

Scam Alert: AI Mimicking Voices in Phone Scams


Technology marches ever onward, often moving more quickly than laws and regulations can catch up. That’s the vase with modern artificial intelligence technology, which has advanced at a blistering pace and created unique opportunities in both legitimate and illicit fields. Case in point: AI has given scammers the tools to defraud people more effectively by creating convincing fake voices of people you know.

What can you do to look out for this scam? It’s a tricky one that will require vigilance and a keen sense of how scams work, but with the right tips, you can know what to look out for.

How it Works

If a scammer gets enough audio of someone you know, they can create a convincing fake of their voice using AI programs. This could allow them to program the AI to say certain things and to call you to attempt to defraud you. The most obvious application of this would be to find a victim’s grandchild and get a sampling of their voice to program an AI.

Then, using this faked audio, they could call the victim and make it sound like their grandkid needed money–usually for bail or some similar emergency. Then, they’d use the typical scammer technique of asking for untraceable gift cards over the phone, the same as any imposter scam.

What to Do

The first test any random phone call like that needs to pass is whether it sounds genuine. But, sadly, these scams do sound genuine–it sounds just like your loved one’s voice! Thankfully, there are a few things that can tip you off that something’s up with the scam voice.

Firstly, as soon as a relative calls in a panic asking for money, that should raise a red flag. Beyond that, you need to also be aware of the cadence of their voice and the pauses between words. If their voice sounds slightly off and it takes them a strangely long time to answer your questions, this should tell you you’re being scammed.

Hang Up the Phone 

In order to avoid getting tricked by this kind of scheme, you should hang up the phone and directly call the person who claims to be on the other end. If they’re just as confused as you are, then you know you’re dealing with a scammer.

The best solution to these kinds of schemes is to keep in constant contact with your family members. That way, you’ll know when they’re really in trouble and won’t run the risk of getting scammed!