A father in Texas shares a warning to other families about AI scams after saying his father was defrauded of $1,000.
“When you’re in a state of anxiety and panic, when you’re there to help your family, I think logic is thrown out the window,” Lee Hall told Good Morning America. “This is what scammers are betting on, so now we have to raise our level of development so that these things don’t happen to our loved ones.”
Hall said his father, who was not named, received a distressed call that he thought was from his grandson, Christian, Hall’s son.
“He told his grandfather he was vacationing in Mexico with his friends. He got into trouble. Scared to death. He got into a bit of drinking and got into an accident and now that’s why he’s in a bit of trouble and needs some money to get him out of that situation,” Hall said of the call. which his father received, believing it was from a Christian.
The fraudster allegedly used artificial intelligence, known as AI, to impersonate Christian to ask for help and money, according to Hall.
Hall said his father sent $1,000 to the alleged fraudster.
“This story is very believable,” Hall said of the call his father received. “What’s scary is my dad is completely off the grid. He doesn’t have any social media accounts. He doesn’t even have an email. But the fact that they’re still hooking up with my son, that makes it even scarier.”
Hall said he and his wife confirmed it was a hoax when they called their son, a college student.
“I just learned that this was a scam because we knew it [Christian] He said, “We knew he was in Dallas, so we called him right away and he said, ‘Yeah, Mom, I’m in college in Dallas,’ so we knew it was a scam.” “
Last month, Jennifer DiStefano, an Arizona mom, told “GMA” how she also received a disturbing call that turned out to be an AI voice cloning scheme.
“It’s the sound of my daughter crying and crying saying, ‘Mom,'” DiStefano said. And I’m like, ‘Well, what happened? “It’s like, Mom, these bad guys help me, help me.”
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Afterwards, DiStefano said, a man demanded that she pay a ransom for Brianna’s peaceful release. But he told her he didn’t want a bank transfer for the ransom and wanted to go pick her up instead.
Fortunately, DeStefano was able to make sure her daughter was safe within minutes.
The Federal Trade Commission said fraudsters are easily able to use artificial intelligence to reproduce sounds with a short audio clip often found on social media.
More: Mum warns of hoax of using AI to reproduce her daughter’s voice
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), impersonation scams were the highest reported frauds in 2022, resulting in $2.6 billion in losses.
How to protect your family from artificial intelligence scams
Samuel Levine, director of the Federal Trade Commission, said the scam is so effective because it imitates something personal and can lead to hasty action. Instead, he said, you should stay calm and contact the authorities.
“They are exploiting the contact we have with our relatives and friends to try to convince people to hand over money or hand over personal information in a way that could cause a lot of harm,” he said.
Experts say that if a caller demands a bank transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency, that’s a big red flag that it could be a scam.
Experts also advise keeping your social media accounts private so scammers can’t replicate your voice from a post.
Since scammers often spoof phone numbers, experts say if you get one of these calls, hang up and call your loved ones directly instead of just calling back.
Experts also recommend that families create a password that family members can tell each other if there really is a problem.
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