Scammers Are Using AI to Copy People’s Voices
Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are now being used to imitate the human voice, giving imposters a new weapon to trick victims out of money.
Software programs are scouring the internet in search of voices that have been posted on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, podcasts, and other platforms. Just a few sentences of your voice may be sufficient for the AI tools to create copies that are eerily accurate. Innovations in computer science and mathematics have enabled the creation of these tools, which make use of vocal characteristics that can reflect a person’s gender, age, accent and unique way of speaking.
In one case, the Washington Post reported on the ordeal of a Canadian family that lost more than $15,000 in a fake-voice scam. It started when a criminal contacted the parents of a man named Benjamin Perkin, claiming to be their son’s lawyer. The scammer told the parents their son was in jail and needed money following a car accident. The criminal then pretended to put their son on the phone, using an AI tool to fake the son’s voice. Shaken, Perkin’s parents sent $15,449 to the crook via Bitcoin, a digital currency.
The parents learned that they had been scammed later that night when their son called them. “The money’s gone, Perkin told The Post. “There’s no insurance. There’s no getting it back. It’s gone.”
Experts warn that this new technology is raising new risks for the public. As with other scams, individuals are advised to be on their guard when they receive unexpected phone calls from family or friends − and money is requested. It’s safest to end the call and reach out to them at a known telephone number.