What are AI Scams? 

For years, scammers have used phone calls to impersonate people of authority and trick their targets into sending them money. While technology is advancing exponentially, this also means the growth of scam calls using Artificial Intelligence, or AI is as well. The calls may come from a friend or family member and may even sound like their voice. The Federal Trade Commission warns that all the scammers need is a short voice clip to impersonate someone else with AI. Then, they can spoof a phone number to disguise what number the call is truly coming from to make it appear that the call is coming from someone you know.  

How can you protect yourself from AI Scams? 

If you receive a call from a family member or friend who is demanding your money, you should hang up immediately. Scammers will make you feel pressured and indicate that the situation is urgent. Call back the friend or family member by dialing the number you know is correct. You should check to make sure they are okay. Be wary when someone calls you demanding money, even if you think you know who it is. 

What to do if you get scammed by an AI Call: 

Be proactive and create a “code word” with family members and close friends for each other to understand when there is a real emergency. Scammers often ask you to pay in a way that makes it difficult to get your money back. No matter how you pay a scammer, the sooner you act, the better. Get in contact with your financial institution by using the number on the back of your card. If you receive a scam call, report it to the FTC at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov and to your state attorney general. 

The Warning Signs: 

It can be very difficult to distinguish the AI voice from your loved one’s real voice. Pay attention to what they are saying on the phone. If the person is demanding money in gift card form, telling you the situation is dire, then they get cut off, or another voice comes on the line demanding a ransom, it’s a scam. These techniques are used to scare you into sending the money. If you believe you are receiving a scam call, just hang up.