The surge in fraudulent activities involving artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly evident, with one prevalent method being the AI voice scam. Perpetrators employ AI to replicate the voices of trusted individuals, such as family members, to emotionally manipulate victims, leading to significant financial losses. Recent media reports unveil a distressing incident in Hyderabad where a 59-year-old woman fell victim to this scam, resulting in a loss of Rs 1.4 lakh after mistaking the caller for her nephew residing in Canada.
Late one night, the woman received a call from an individual claiming to be her nephew. The caller, who convincingly mimicked the nephew’s voice and spoke fluently in their native Punjabi language, portrayed a distressing scenario. He asserted that he had been involved in an accident and was on the brink of being arrested. The caller urgently pleaded with the woman to transfer money, stressing the importance of keeping their conversation confidential and not disclosing it to anyone.
According to the woman, ‘The caller sounded exactly like my nephew and spoke in our home language Punjabi, just the way we talk. He called me late at night and told me he had an accident and might go to jail. He asked me to send money and not tell anyone about our conversation.’
Here’s How You Can Stay Safe
Verify Caller Identity
Always verify the identity of the caller, especially if they claim to be a family member or someone you trust. Contact the person directly through a known and verified phone number to confirm the legitimacy of the call.
Be Skeptical of Urgency
Scammers create a sense of urgency to manipulate their victims. If the caller insists on immediate action, take a step back and verify the information independently before proceeding with any requests.
Use Secondary Verification
Implement secondary verification methods, such as asking personal questions that only the real person would know, to confirm the caller’s identity. Scammers may struggle to provide accurate details.
Avoid Immediate Money Transfers
Never transfer money immediately, especially in response to urgent requests over the phone. Take time to verify the situation and consult with other family members or friends before taking any financial action.
Educate Elders and Vulnerable Individuals: Ensure that older family members or those who may be more vulnerable to scams are aware of the tactics used by fraudsters. Educate them about the importance of verifying information before taking any action.
Report Suspicious Calls
Report any suspicious calls to local law enforcement or the appropriate authorities. Timely reporting can contribute to efforts to track and combat AI voice scams.
Stay informed about the latest scam tactics and be aware of the prevalence of AI voice scams. Awareness is a key defence against falling victim to emerging fraudulent schemes.
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