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Artificial Intelligence and Scams
Artificial Intelligence Makes Scams Harder to Spot
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the technology that gives a computer the ability to think and learn on its own. It’s the simulation of human intelligence into machines, to do things normally done by humans. Using AI, computers can learn to see, understand, and translate spoken and written language.
AI technology provides many benefits to society. It is used to develop tools and methods to protect computerized systems and any personal information they hold. It can teach computers to detect when other computers are trying to breach their cybersecurity measures. And it can quickly analyze data and make recommendations with increased accuracy, reducing human error.
It can also assist in our daily lives. From setting step goals on our smartwatch to routing us on our travels using a map app. It can send reminders of upcoming appointments or quickly find and play a requested song on a specific device.
Even though AI provides many benefits, it can also be used for malicious purposes.
AI technology allows scammers to easily create and personalize scams to make them more convincing. It uses personal information pulled from social media profiles and other online sources to tailor the scam to you.
AI can also be used to create deepfake audio and video clips to trick us. Using the technology, scammers collect audio data to clone a person’s voice. They may clone a child’s voice, a grandchild, or other family member.
The imposter will call, possibly spoofing the number to show the loved one’s number on your caller ID. They may claim to be in serious trouble and beg the relative to send money. Hearing a loved one’s voice and seeing their phone number on your caller ID is convincing and motivates us to respond to the request.
Protect yourself from a potential voice cloning scam:
- Don’t trust the voice. Be skeptical when asked for money in any form.
- Don’t rely on caller ID. It can also be faked.
- Hang up. Call the person using a number you know to be theirs.
Learn to recognize the ingredients of a scam.
- Pressure to act immediately.
- Use of scare tactics or enticing offers.
- An offer too good to be true.
- Demand for money, typically in an unusual form, either by wire transfer, gift card, pay app, or crypto.
- Requests for sensitive or personal information.
See Recognizing a Scam for more information.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REPORT A SCAM:
If you believe you have fallen for a scam and have paid out money, take steps immediately to minimize any damage. If you paid by:
- Credit or debit card - contact the company or bank that issued the card and report the fraudulent charge.
- Bank transfer - inform your bank of an unauthorized debit or withdrawal.
- Gift card - contact the company that issued the gift card and report fraud. Typically, these transactions are not traceable or reversible.
- Payment app - report the transaction to the company behind the app. These apps require you to link it with a credit or debit card. Report the transaction to the fraud department for that card. Pay apps are not regulated and many do not offer transfer protections. You may be forced to rely on the goodwill of the recipient to return the funds.
- Cryptocurrency - contact the company you used to send the money. These transactions typically are not reversible, and the return of funds falls on the person who received them to return them.
- Wire transfer - contact the wire transfer company to see about canceling the money transfer.
You can also file a report with your local law enforcement agency and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 877-382-4357.
If you have a consumer complaint, or believe you've been the victim of a scam, please file a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Team at:
Consumer Protection Team
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Toll free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form