a shady figure in a hood and a datacenter working on a laptop

For years, scammers have used technology like caller ID, SMS text messaging, and email to swindle unsuspecting victims. Now, fraudsters have added another tech advancement to their arsenal – artificial intelligence (AI) voice cloning software. While filmmakers, commercial producers, and other creatives use the tool for entertainment purposes, scammers have something more sinister in mind.

How AI Voice Cloning Scams Work

Fraudsters have access to sophisticated software that can mimic the voices of friends and family, making you less likely to question urgent requests for money. They only need a brief snippet of someone’s voice and an AI speech app to design a digital clone. The scammer uses the resulting audio file to create a recorded message or make a live phone call.

AI Voice Cloning Scam Warning Signs

While voice cloning software is sophisticated, that doesn’t mean it knows your friend or relative better than you do. Listen carefully for red flags that might include:

  • An absence of unusual speech patterns. For example, the real voice stutters, yet this caller has near-perfect enunciation.
  • Unusual word choice. For example, the real person might typically speak using simple language, but the caller sounds like a professional lawyer.

Voices that seem “off” for other reasons might also signal a voice cloning scam.

Protect Yourself from AI Voice Cloning Scams

Fraudsters know scams succeed when they can manipulate a target’s emotions. You can shield yourself from their devious tactics by following these tips.

  • Be suspicious of any recorded message or phone call that describes a dire situation that requires you to send money right away.
  • Establish a code word that close friends and family members must use in emergencies.
  • Do not send money until you’ve verified the situation with people you know.

Knowledge is your first line of defense against fraud schemes. Stay alert to new financial scams by browsing the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker to subscribing to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Alerts.

If you’re in Waupun, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, or anywhere in the Fox Valley region, it’s crucial to stay vigilant against the rising tide of AI voice cloning scams. This article provides valuable insights into how these scams work and how you can protect yourself. Remember, knowledge is your first line of defense against fraud schemes. For more resources and to report any suspicious activity, visit our Fraud Center. Stay informed, stay alert, and let’s work together to keep our communities safe.

If you suspect a scam, report it to the FTC.