Voice Cloning: Beware of con artists using AI technology to mimic your boss – WWLP.com

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The use of artificial intelligence has been rapidly growing over the past several years including voice cloning, technology that can mimic someone’s voice.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning the public of a recent scheme in which con artists are using AI software to clone the voices of people you know to ask you to send money. Due to the recent advances in AI technology, software can clone a voice from a very small audio sample. Voice cloning can mimic the voice of your boss to instruct you to wire funds for a project and you make the transfer, not knowing it was a fake call.

The voice cloning schemes have also been reported to the BBB of a family member calling to claim they were in an accident or medical emergency instructing the need for money sent via a cash app. In an example reported to the BBB, “Received call on 1-26-24 I thought it was my daughter-in-law she said Hi mom calling to say she was pulled over driving and has a broken nose. She was frantic to have me call the lawyer right away. She asked me 3 times if I wrote the name & number down. I said yes. She said she had to go right now as they are taking her. Her voice sounded just like my daughter-in-law.”

The BBB has the following tips to avoid AI voice cling schemes:

  • Resist the urge to act immediately. No matter how convincing a phone call or voicemail may sound, hang up or close the message if something doesn’t feel right. Call the person who claimed to have called you directly with the phone number you have saved for them. Don’t call back the number provided by the caller or caller ID. Ask questions that would be hard for an impostor to answer correctly.
  • Don’t send money if you’re in doubt. If the caller urgently asks you to send money via a digital wallet payment app or a gift card, that may be a red flag for a scam. If you wire money to someone and later realize it’s a fraud, the police must be alerted.
  • Secure your accounts: Whether at work or home, set up multifactor authentication for email logins and other changes in email settings. At work, verify changes in information about customers, employees, or vendors.
  • At work, train your staff: Create a secure culture at your office by training employees in internet security. Make it a policy to confirm all change and payment requests before transferring. Don’t rely on email or voicemail.

A BBB study conducted in 2022, more than $3 billion has cost businesses and organizations in email schemes since 2016 due to email phishing. The study, “Is that email really from The Boss?” shows criminal groups, typically from Nigeria, set up tactics to defraud individuals through emails that have been spoofed or hacked.

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