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Artificial Intelligence: The Newest Way to Scam Seniors

AI graphics chip with the word "scam" overtop

Scammers are utilizing artificial intelligence in creative ways to make their tactics subtler and more effective in their endless efforts to exploit seniors. Scammers use AI to gather personal information from social media profiles and other sources online so that they approach you more personally and thus, more convincingly.  


If you receive text messages, emails, or even voice calls that appear to be from a close friend, family member, coworker, or a business you have been associated with, what reason do you have to distrust it? The less aware you are of these tactics, the more vulnerable you are to falling prey to them.  Some scams are easy to detect, but with AI they are getting trickier.  


Here are some examples of these new scams: 


Voice Cloning 


Scammers can manipulate voice recordings from your social media page or from a phone call to produce a new voice recording that sounds realistically like your voice. AI voice generators can be used to impersonate regular people. So-called vishing (voice phishing) attacks occur when cybercriminals impersonate regular people. Elderly people are often targeted in these types of attacks, and in some cases rush to the bank to withdraw money for a loved one who supposedly just called in desperation, only to find out it was just an AI-generated scam that replicated the loved one’s voice without their consent.  


Deepfake Videos 


AI can be used to generate or manipulate multimedia content to create videos portraying people doing or saying things they never said or did. The goal may be to impersonate an individual or to make viewers believe a false narrative.  


Synthetic media can be very convincing, especially if the individual portrayed is a loved one or a person of high authority. Scammers have used this technology to fraudulently request money transfers to illegitimate institutions. It has successfully convinced many people, such as this financial worker in a large company, to part with significant amounts of money.  


Phishing Emails 


Phishing is the technique of sending emails or other messages allegedly from trusted companies or people to convince you to give out personal information, such as passwords, phone numbers, social security numbers, and credit card details. 


A phishing email commonly takes the form of a warning about suspicious activity in an account you have with a reputable company. The email directs you to change your password to “protect” yourself. If you follow the prompt, before you know it, the fraud has been successful, and the perpetrator has your login information. 


If You’ve Been Scammed 


It can be difficult to get your money back, but the sooner you take action, the better. No matter the method of payment, contact the issuing organization as quickly as possible. Explain the situation and ask for the charges to be reversed. Debit and credit cards will need to be canceled with new ones issued. 


If you are the victim of fraud or a scam, it is important to report the incident to local law enforcement. Reporting leads to greater awareness and education. 


The Federal Trade Commission offers information and consumer advice about the latest scams. 



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