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How Scammers Can Use Your Own Voice Against You

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As we continue to explore some of the fastest growing scams in 2024, this week’s safety article will review how your own voice can become a weapon to steal your money.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has given scammers a tool to perfectly clone your voice. This cloning has opened up avenues to cheat you out of your money. The two more popular ones are Voiceprinting and a new multistage grandparent scam.

VoicePrinting is on the rise in 2024. Thieves take advantage of new technologies and capture a recording of your voice. They in turn use a software program to generate an imitation “deepfake” version that allows them to impersonate you. This voiceprint can now be used to access many of your accounts from your insurance and financial institutions. The scammers use your clone voice to contact your bank and transfer funds into an account they control.

Organized thieves use criminal call centers that they staff with young people and pay them for every older person they deceive. (Adobe Stock)

The first step into safeguarding this scam is to realize that conversations with anyone other than family or close friends are coming to an end. Even calls from familiar numbers may actually be coming from a stolen phone or one whose SIM card has been cloned. It’s best for those outside your inner circle to text you.

Another fast-growing scam is the old grandparents’ scam where the grandchild reaches out to the grandparent saying, “I need help.” The 2024 scam has added another twist. The new version of the classic grandparent scam, in which an imposter pretends to be a grandchild in trouble who needs quick money for bail, a car repair, tires, cell phone bill payment or something else uses fraud call centers. These more organized thieves use criminal call centers that they staff with young people and pay them for every older person they deceive.

Part of the gimmick is for the imposter grandchild to provide a case number. When the grandparent calls the supposed authority, the thieves say, “Oh, do you have a case number?” It’s a subtle psychological trick to make the fraud seem more credible. Some scammers go as far as having a co-conspirator pose as a courier and go to a grandparent’s home to pick up the money in person.

If you ever receive this type of call from an unfamiliar number claiming a family member is in trouble, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends that you hang up immediately, then call or text the family member’s number to see if the person is actually in trouble. If they do not answer and you are afraid the call may be real, contact other family members and/or friends.

Remember with the continuous advancements in technology it is increasingly important that you Keep an Eye on Safety.