5 Artificial Intelligence Scams to Be Aware Of

AI Scams

By now, you’ve likely heard of “AI”, or Artificial Intelligence. Simply put, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. This may include speech recognition, decision-making, writing, art making, or a host of other tasks. While there are benefits to this technology, it can be used for nefarious purposes when it gets into the wrong hands. Many have fallen victim to AI-based scams and lost thousands of dollars. Here are 5 recent AI scams to be aware of and a few tips for protecting yourself:

1. Fake Family Emergency Scams

Imposter scams like fake family emergency scams have been around for a long time, but AI technology takes them to eerie new levels. Scammers are now capable of taking a snippet of a loved one’s voice from one of their social media profiles, for example, and using AI to replicate their voice and make a fake phone call to a family member to request money for an emergency. This may look like a call to a grandparent with an AI-generated voice mimicking their grandchild saying they’ve been arrested and they need money for bail or fines. Victims say they were certain it was their grandchild's voice on their phone. If that sounds scary, it is.

Quick tip: Experts suggest coming up with a family code word that could be used in such a situation that would verify whether it was your family member calling or a slick scammer. If they say they're calling from a police station, ask which one and call the station back directly to find out if the call is legitimate.

2. Kidnapping Scams

Another way scammers may use the voice mimicking software is to fake a kidnapping. They will generate audio that sounds like your child’s voice saying they’re being held hostage and then the scammer will get on the phone and demand ransom.

Quick Tip: Use another phone to call your child or grandchild directly and find out if they are, in fact, in danger.

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AI Scams

3. Investment Scams

There is a lot of hype around the use of AI to make market predictions. Many online investment platforms offer some sort of AI-based mobile investing app or website with AI integration. Scammers are aware of the buzz around AI and using it to their advantage to trick unsuspecting investors. One common type of investment fraud is where scammers claim that their AI can trade cryptocurrency on your behalf and generate a significant profit.

Quick Tip: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

4. Chatbot “Prompt Injection” Attacks

Many people use chatbots to assist with online searches and they can be very helpful. However, it’s important to be aware that those conversations can be hijacked by hackers with their own agenda who may bypass the chatbot and attempt to direct you to a malicious site or try and prompt you to enter sensitive information.

Quick tip: Try to stick to using chatbots for general information and not exchanging information that is sensitive and important.

5. More Sophisticated, Customized Phishing Attacks

At this point, most people have received phishing emails and have gotten used to being able to identify them by the poor grammar, unprofessional graphic design, or an unrecognized sender address. With AI, these attempts are getting more sophisticated. Scammers are now able to more closely mimic official communications from financial institutions, government entities, and others. They may also obtain and use personal information that is more specific which may make the message seem more legitimate.

Quick tip: Hang up and contact the financial institution directly or visit a branch if you’re unsure if a message is real or fraud.

The benefits and risks of Artificial Intelligence are still being unveiled and this means it’s more important than ever to question any messages you receive and safeguard important account numbers and login credentials. Be sure to regularly check our Security Center for the latest scam information.

Learn more about how to protect yourself in our Security Center.

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