Experts Warn Of AI Voice Manipulation Scams, FTC Offers Reward For Solutions

The FTC says scams where the person doing the scam pretends to be someone else cost people more than $2 billion last year.

Friday, November 17th 2023, 8:46 pm



Scams using Artificial Intelligence to manipulate voices are on the rise, so much so that the Federal Trade Commission is offering a $25,000 reward to anyone who can figure out how to stop it.

Melanie Henry, the Senior Associate State Director of Communications and Outreach with AARP Oklahoma, says the best thing you can do if you get targeted with a scam call is to step back and take a breath, and then truly think through what you’re doing.

The FTC says scams where the person doing the scam pretends to be someone else cost people more than $2 billion last year.

AI can now manipulate someone’s voice to call their loved ones- saying things like “I need help” or “I’m in trouble.”

"When you hear from someone you love, or you think it's someone that you love, and they're in trouble, you're thinking, what can I do to help?” said Henry. “I have to act quickly. And that's what the scammers are counting on. They want you to act without thoroughly thinking it through."

Henry says the best thing to do is to take a second to ask some questions and make some calls.

"The easiest thing to do is just hang up the phone,” said Henry. “Do not engage with this person. Then, call back the person you thought was in trouble or another relative and verify."

One tip is to have special code words with your family members.

That way if they actually are in trouble, you’ll know it’s them on the phone.

"Have a password,” said Henry. “Have a safe word with your relative and so if I were to get a phone call that said, my daughter is in trouble, I would say, tell me the password. They aren't going to be able to tell you that, and you know right there."

Things that should be red flags are if the person calling you wants you to put money on a gift card or download AI software as part of a free trial.

"Once you download it, then they're able to access your personal information, access your computer, so again, if it seems to good to be true, if you're just not sure, just step back,” said Henry.

If you have an idea that you would like to submit to the FTC for the reward, you can start submitting your proposals on the FTC website starting after the new year. For more information visit here.

The AARP also has resources to help recognize scams. For more information visit here.

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