Scammers using AI voice technology to commit crimes
The usage of platforms like Cash App, Zelle, and Venmo for peer-to-peer payments has experienced a significant surge, with scams increasing by over 58%. Additionally, there has been a corresponding rise of 44% in scams stemming from the theft of personal documents, according to IDIQ.
AI voice technology
The report also highlights the rise of AI voice scams as a significant trend in 2023. AI voice technology enables scammers to create remarkably realistic voices and convincingly imitate family members, friends and other trusted individuals.
“AI voice cloning scams are the scariest thing I have seen in the last 20 years,” said Scott Hermann, CEO of IDIQ and a cybersecurity and financial expert.
Hermann said, with just a short voice clip usually taken from social media, a scammer can clone a loved one’s voice and call a victim pretending to be that person. The scammer deceives the victim into thinking their loved one is in distress to get them to send money, provide personal information or perform other actions.
“AI voice technology has gotten to the point where a mother can’t tell the difference between her child’s voice and a machine – and scammers have pounced on this to commit crimes,” he said.
Protecting against AI voice cloning scams
Ways the public can help protect themselves from these scams:
- Being cautious of unsolicited offers, requests, and calls
- Always verifying identities, including having a family “password”
- Using strong cybersecurity practices, including unique passwords, multi-factor authentication and VPN
- Protecting and monitoring personal information
- Educating themselves on the latest scams and trends as new scams continue to arise
Scammers are also taking advantage of peer-to-peer payment platforms lack of protection, convenience and limited refund policies to steal from victims as part of Cash App, Zelle and Venmo scams. Fraudsters use the lure of a cuddly puppy in pet deposit scams or offer to help invest and “flip” money with huge returns in cash-flipping scams.
Awareness of these scams – and never sending money through these apps as a deposit to someone you don’t know – helps consumers avoid fraud.
The report indicates that, while online threats are increasing, consumers must continue to protect their personal information that can be found offline.
“While consumers should be concerned about their online presence, they shouldn’t overlook data vulnerabilities presented by paper documents,” Hermann said.
As for the offline threats, mail theft, lost or stolen wallets, and “shoulder surfing,” in which a scammer peers at documents with personal information unbeknownst to the victim, were the most prevalent forms of personal document fraud.
“We hope the information from the report keeps the public aware of and safe from the biggest scams we are seeing today,” Hermann said. “As new trends emerge, we will continue to help consumers protect themselves and their families.”