Experts warn of rise in scammers using AI

84% of adults say they believe AI can be easily abused
Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 4:51 PM EDT
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(InvestigateTV) — A recent Forbes Advisor survey found more than 75% of consumers are concerned with misinformation from artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT, and according to some security experts, they have good reason to be cautious.

Dr. David Maimon runs the Evidence Based Cyber Security Group at Georgia State University in Atlanta. One of the topics they monitor closely is the use of artificial intelligence by fraudsters.

“They’re constantly getting better at what they do. They’re constantly trying to find different ways, different vulnerabilities that the fraud fighters haven’t really thought of, the victim hasn’t really thought of, in order to take advantage of people,” Maimon said.

Maimon said one approach fraudsters take is targeting people on dating apps. He said con artists often create fictitious profiles with another person’s personal information and picture.

Maimon described how scammers also educate other cybercriminals on how to create nearly perfect video and voice clones for the fake profiles.

“The criminals offer to walk you through a tutorial to make sure that you know exactly how to use the tool,” he said. “They actually offer practice lessons as well in terms of how to use your lips and eyes in order for you to sync your voice when you sort of communicate with a victim. So, this is how sophisticated the operation is at this point.”

The AARP has also noticed an uptick in concerns over AI scams and issued an alert telling consumers to beware of AI voice cloning.

Kathy Stokes, the director of AARP’s Fraud Prevention Program, said criminals can clone someone’s voice well enough to trick family members.

Stokes said it’s hard to tell now whether someone you see or hear is fake, but the biggest red flag is if the exchange causes a heightened emotional state.

“When you get a contact out of the blue about some big financial issue, whether it’s ‘I’ve got to solve this with money’ or ‘I’m getting money and I’m so excited,’ that’s the red flag! Something that instills fear, panic, excitement right up front, that’s the red flag,” Stokes explained.

As for those who think they’re being fooled on dating apps but aren’t sure, Maimon said consider bringing a friend or family member to meet the person. He said scammers know they are more likely to be unmasked by an objective friend or family member.

The AARP has more information and tips on how to protect yourself from AI cloning scams.