Tips on Artificial Intelligence Scams

Tips on AI-Related Scams

As technology progresses and our world changes, consumers must keep up to date with the newest types of scams that may target them. One type of scam uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Scammers can impersonate your family and friends using AI technology to ask you for money or personal information. They do this by manipulating videos and recordings found on social media to produce realistic sounding voice recordings or even videos. These are called voice cloning or deepfakes. During these scams, you’ll typically receive a call from what sounds like a panicked loved one asking for money.

Signs It’s a Voice-Cloning Scam:

  • You are contacted out of the blue.
  • You are pressured to act immediately, with no time to think.
  • The caller is urgently requesting money, usually through a wire transfer, gift card, payment app, or cryptocurrency. These methods of payment make it nearly impossible to get a refund once you’ve been scammed.
  • The caller is requesting personal or private information from you.
  • You are told to keep the caller’s request a secret.

How to Respond

  • Ask questions. Caller ID can be faked. Although a scammer may sound like a loved one, they won’t be able to answer personal questions that only your real loved one would know the answer to. You can ask them to confirm details that aren’t publicly available.
  • Be skeptical. Hang up and call the person back, but don’t simply redial the number that called you – call their trusted number. If you can’t reach that loved one directly, try to reach out through another family member or friend.
  • Stop and think. Urgency is one of a scammer’s most powerful tools in getting you to do what they want. You can take control of the situation by pausing for a moment to consider the situation rationally.
  • Be wary of what you share on social media. Scammers learn information about you and your loved ones through personal information shared online. Be mindful of the information you share, and make your accounts private so only trusted friends can see your posts.
  • Report the scam. You can report scams online to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC will use your report to investigate and bring cases against other frauds, scams, and bad business practices.

Signs It’s a Deepfake Scam:

  • Look for signs of an altered video including jerky or unrealistic movements, shifts in lighting or skin tone, strange or no blinking, and shadows around the eyes.
  • Listen for inconsistencies. Is the speaker doing something totally out of character, like asking for your money or personal information? Deepfake videos often feature strange word choices, stilted language, and choppy sentences.
  • The caller requesting money, usually urgently and through a hard to trace method like a wire transfer, gift card, payment app, or cryptocurrency.

How to Respond

  • React the same way you would any time you think you might be getting scammed. Stop to think and be skeptical of any information. Find a way to research or verify the claims in the video.
  • Flag the video. If you see this video on social media, you should report it to the platform.

Report the Scam

New York City’s Action Plan

AI is a powerful tool that allows computers to learn and perform tasks previously only performed by humans. This technology is being used across many industries, including healthcare, banking, and transportation. You can read the City’s Action Plan for Artificial Intelligence to learn more about how AI works and how New York City is using the technology to responsibly create a better future.