Scam Alert: Fraudsters using AI in scam calls

Scammers are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to mimic the voices of relatives in new voice clone scam calls

Reports have come in regarding scammers using AI technology to mimic the voices of the relatives of credit union members throughout eastern Wisconsin, claiming via phone calls various emergencies in which the credit union member needs to send their “relative” money in the form of wire transfers, cryptocurrency, gift cards, or other hard to track means.

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

You get a call. There’s a panicked voice on the line. It’s your grandson. He says he’s in deep trouble (he wrecked the car and landed in jail or he has been kidnapped or some other emergency), but you can help by sending him money. You do what you’re supposed to do. Take a deep breath and think about the grandparent scams you’ve heard about – but it sounds just like him, so how could it be a scam? AI-generated voice cloning, that’s how.

HOW DOES VOICE CLONING WORK?

As AI technology becomes more prevalent in all aspects of life, it becomes more available for scammers to warp to their nefarious needs – including using it to voice clone your loved ones. All they need is a short audio clip of your relative’s voice – which could be from content posted online – and a voice-cloning program. When the scammer calls, they’ll sound just like your loved one.

WHO IS BEING TARGETED AND WHAT ARE THE RED FLAGS TO WATCH FOR?

With this particular scam, anyone and everyone can be targeted, so everyone must stay vigilant. The biggest red flag to watch for is how who you’re talking to asks for the funds. If they ask for a wire transfer, cryptocurrency, gift cards, or other hard to track funds, this is a big red flag.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET A SUSPICIOUS CALL?

If you’re worried the relative that called you isn’t your relative, hang up right away and call the person back using a number you know is theirs and verify the story. If you can’t reach them that way, contact other family members to try to reach them.

Also, if you have any questions or think you have received one of these calls, please contact our friendly Fox team or stop by your local Fox branch. We’re here to help.