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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Protect Yourself from AI Voice Cloning Scams



Imagine getting a frantic phone from a family member saying they are in trouble and are in need of money. Most of us would do whatever it took to make sure your family member isn't in danger, but now you need to be careful as that emergency call could actually be a cyber criminal using a cloned voice of your family member to scam you out of money. Crooks are taking the 'family emergency' scam to the next level by using artificial intelligence (AI) and social media and YouTube to clone your voice and use them for scam calls. Read on to find out more about voice cloning scams and how to protect yourself and your family from them.


What is Voice Cloning? Voice Cloning uses an artificial intelligence (AI) technology called deep learning. Deep learning works by collecting information to 'get smarter' about the task it's set to perform. In the case of voice-cloning software programs, it's designed to analyze data when it comes to voice structure software when the deep fake software gathers enough information from your vou, it can take text that is typed in and generate realistic sounding copies of your voice. What is even more troublesome, with current AI technology you can generate a voice clone in as little as 8 minutes.


How Can Criminals Scam You? Criminals will take a sample of your voice from videos you've posted online and put it into a program that will clone your voice. Once that is accomplished, they will use caller ID spoofing devices to trick the person who receives the call into believing it’s a trusted person calling and not a spam call. The types of scams that are carried out are:


Grandparent or family emergency scams. These types of scams have been around for a while and it involves criminals impersonating members of your family and pretending that they are in trouble. Criminals will always state the family member needs money to solve whatever emergency they are in.


Social media voice impersonations. This type of scam involves someone using AI voice technology to create posts using that may impersonate well-known people and celebrities to say controversial comments online. Sometimes these are political, but criminals can use voice fraud scams to get people to rally behind a public figure to support a charity cause tricking people out of money.


Bank Fraud scams. Criminals can clone your voice using AI to impersonate you or your bank representative to gain access to your banking or other financial accounts. Information about you can be easily obtained from the dark web from data breaches where your personal information may have been leaked.


Business information compromise. Businesses can experience AI voice scams if a criminal gets ahold of the voice of a business owner or senior executive. The goal for the cyber crook is to get an unsuspecting person to give up vital company information in order for the fraudster to scam the business out of money.

Tech Support Scams

Another common AI voice scam is when fraudsters use AI voice clones to impersonate tech support representatives and convince people to pay for fake services or install malware on their computers. People should be very cautious when receiving unexpected phone calls like this. Again, the best way to protect yourself here is to verify the legitimacy of the company and caller before sharing sensitive information or making a payment.


Voice Phishing Scams. This scam is close to the grandparent or emergency scam, but criminals will call like a family member out of the blue asking for money. This scam is normally targeted at older adults.


How to protect yourself from AI-voice cloning scams. This new wave of tech scams goes way beyond avoiding clicking on links and spotting when a phone scam appears on your phone. It's important that you pay double attention when trying to avoid voice-cloning scams as they appear. The best thing you can do is to trust your instincts. if it doesn't feel right to you, then it probably isn't. Other things to do are:


  • Find out if your information is floating around on the dark web. Web sites like www.haveibeenpwned.com will let you know if your email address, phone number and personal information has been exposed in a data breach. Criminals use this information to gather facts about you to commit AI voice scams.

  • Hang up and call the person or company who is contacting you. Use a number that is known to you.

  • Agree on and use a secret code word or phrase that your family members or business associates will use when they are in trouble,

  • Ask the person calling questions that only the real person would know the answers to. Another safety trick is to ask for private information that could not be gathered from your social media accounts

  • If the criminals asks you to wire money, send cryptocurrency or buy gift cards, hang up immediately.

  • To prevent your voice from being used for one of these schemes, turn your social media accounts on to private and have conversations with your kids about the importance of privacy on the internet.

  • Always make sure your files are automatically backed up on all of your devices. This will help you if you or your company falls for a ransomware attack.

  • Stop using passwords and start using passphrases for all of your online accounts.

  • Use different passwords for all of your online accounts to keep them safe from the hands of criminals. If someone gets into one of your online accounts, you don't want them to be able to get into your other accounts.

Hopefully, this post has given you the information you need to stay safe from the dangers of AI Voice Scams. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!

Hopefully, this post has given you the information you need to stay safe from the dangers of Deep Fake AI Scams. If you need further assistance, please reach out to me with any questions you might have. I am always happy to help!


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