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Last Updated on August 18, 2023 8:27 am

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been all over the news as we all grapple with how it will impact our lives. Some forms of AI might make some tasks easier, but as with any new technology, scammers will try to use it to deceive people. Scammers are already at it; they’re using AI to mimic the voice of a loved one who claims to be in a distressing situation, tricking their victims into sending money or personal information. Commonly, scammers use AI in kidnapping scams by mimicking the voice of a kidnapped family member and demanding a bogus ransom payment.

Here’s what you can do to avoid AI scams:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited calls claiming to be a loved one. If you’re suspicious about a call you receive from someone claiming to be a loved one in distress, hang up, do not press “redial,” and contact the person directly using a trusted phone number. Ask questions that only your real family member would be able to answer.  If you received the call on a landline, be sure to wait a few seconds before picking up the phone again to place your call to ensure that the scammer has been disconnected from your phone line.
  • Share carefully on social media. Regularly review and remove audio recordings of yourself and loved ones from social media platforms to prevent scammers from manipulating voices. Make sure to edit your privacy settings to prevent scammers from getting access to your personal information.
  • Never wire transfer, send money, or buy gift cards in response to a phone call. Always verify the legitimacy of the request independently before taking action. Once money has been received by the scammer, it is largely irreversible.
  • Don’t act without thinking. It can be scary to hear your loved one in trouble on the other end of the line. Take a moment to stop, evaluate, and verify the situation so you don’t lose money.

If you think you or somebody you know has been the victim of a scam, contact our office’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at https://ncdoj.gov/complaint.



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