The Latest Scam Using AI Hitting Utah Residents
“Grandma, I’m in a jail in Mexico. I need money.” The voice on the line is her grandson and he says he’s in trouble.
Utah residents are getting hit with the latest scam that has been updated from a previous version enhanced by the use of AI.
Previously, you may have answered your phone and discovered a police officer or someone in authority informing you that a loved one has been arrested and needs money to be bailed out. Another version had a young person with a muffled voice who claimed to be in trouble and needed money. They have been kidnapped in a foreign country and need your help to pay a ransom or they are in jail needing bail money.
Either of these cases can be disturbing, but now with the help of Artificial Intelligence, scammers can make you hear the voice of a dear friend or loved one begging you to pay a ransom for their release. The voice on the other end of the line sounds just like the person you know so well.
Here’s how it works. The scammer will take audio from a post online and replicate the person’s voice patterns through AI. This can be very disturbing for the one receiving the call as it sounds so much like the person they claim to be.
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning about this very scenario. This is especially applicable to seniors and grandparents who these scammers tend to prey on. Whether you are in this age group or have family members or neighbors who are, it would be well to inform them of this latest scam.
What should you do if you receive a call like this? The FTC recommends that you immediately hang up and call the person claiming to be in need directly. If you can’t reach the person, call a parent or another family member close to them. This way you can get more information.
Many fall for these scams every day, losing thousands of dollars that are almost impossible to get back. Never give out your bank information or give access via pin numbers. Many will ask for gift cards to be sent. If anything seems suspicious, get more information.
If you feel you or a loved one have been scammed, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.