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Artificial Intelligence (AI) will benefit the world in amazing ways. But, as with any technology advancement, bad people can use it in bad ways. Scammers are beginning to use AI to improve their game. Between 2022 and 2023, the number of emails with malicious intent surged.

Beware that you don’t get caught in any of the following AI-generated scams.

Voice Cloning: When a Voice Sounds Familiar

Picture this: You pick up the phone, and it’s a family member on the line—desperate, pleading for urgent financial help. But is it really who you think it is? Fraudsters now use AI to mimic the voices of people you trust. They dig into social media for voice samples and recreate their voice. So, if you get a call asking for money, don’t panic. Hang up and reach out directly to your family member or another trusted relative. Urgency is the scammer’s secret weapon.

Deepfake Deception: Seeing Isn’t Always Believing

Deepfakes—those AI-crafted videos—are like Hollywood magic. They seamlessly blend fake images into real footage, making you doubt your own eyes. How can you tell if a video is legit? Watch for odd movements, weird lighting (shadows around the eyes are a giveaway), and out-of-character behaviors. And remember, verification is your best defense. Contact the person supposedly in the video—especially if money is involved.

The Double-Edged Sword of AI Chatbots

Many site have chatbots—those pop-up chat windows where you can ask questions and get quick answers. But not all chatbots are friendly. Scammers use them to pose as legitimate customer support. Imagine an unsolicited email claiming your account has been blocked. Red flag! Here’s how to stay sharp:

  1. Unverified Payment Requests: Don’t fall for it! Legitimate organizations won’t ask for money through sketchy links. Double-check before paying up.
  2. Subtle Inconsistencies: If something feels “off,” trust your gut. Be cautious of cloned voices and deepfakes.
  3. Urgent Demands: Pressure tactics are a big red flag. Verify requests.

Other Common Scams to Watch Out For

  1. Tech Support Scams: Ignore unexpected pop-ups claiming that there is a problem with your device. They’re probably malware traps. Legitimate tech support would never cold-call you or pressure you into sketchy payment methods.
  2. Fake Prize Scams: “You’ve won!” Exciting, right? But if they ask for upfront taxes or fees, smell a rat. Legitimate prizes won’t cost you. Validate with clear processes, not your wallet.

Stay savvy out there!