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Voice Cloning!  Scammers use AI to enhance their family emergency schemes

Unfortunately, Artificial Intelligence is now being used by scammers. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a family member in distress, be wary. If it sounds like your grandson claiming he just wrecked his car or is in jail, try to take a pause. It could be a scammer.

Scammers can now use a short audio clip of your loved one’s voice, obtained from online content, and a voice-cloning program to mimic their voice. This makes it difficult to differentiate between the real person and the scammer.

To protect yourself, don’t trust the voice on the phone. Instead, try to contact the supposed family member through a known phone number to verify the story. If you can’t get in touch with them, reach out to their friends or other family members. Caller IDs can also be fake, so don’t trust them blindly.

If the scammer discourages you from contacting the family member, try texting them while on the phone. Alternatively, insist on calling them back immediately. Scammers will often ask for money in ways that make it difficult to recover, such as wiring money, sending cryptocurrency, or purchasing gift cards and providing the numbers and PINs. These are red flags and may be signs of a scam.

If you spot a scam, report it to the FTC at

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