AI Voice Cloning Scam: An $8,000 Loss that Resembled a Friend’s Voice

NNicholas August 24, 2023 1:07 AM

In Ontario, a man fell victim to a grandparent scam that used artificial intelligence to mimic his friend's voice, leading to him losing $8,000. This incident highlights the growing issue of AI-assisted voice cloning scams.

Victim loses $8,000 in AI voice cloning scam

The victim, known as Sam, was deceived by a scam that exploited artificial intelligence to replicate the voice of a close friend. Believing that his friend was in trouble, Sam paid $8,000 for what he thought was bail money. The uncanny resemblance of the replicated voice to his friend's, and even the mannerisms, made Sam confident that it was indeed his friend on the other line.

Sam's ordeal didn't end with a single phone call. The scammer continued the charade by posing as his friend's lawyer, further convincing Sam that his friend was genuinely in trouble. Under this pretense, Sam eventually handed over $8,000, believing it was for his friend's bail.

Voice cloning scams a growing concern

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), voice cloning by criminals to impersonate friends or family members is a growing problem, especially in Canada. This type of scam has already become a massive problem in America, leading to a surge in complaints lodged with the FTC.

Voice cloning is a sophisticated scamming technique that doesn't require much to execute. Scammers only need a few seconds of a person's speech, which can be obtained from various sources, including social media, in-person conversations, or even a phone's answering machine. With such a short snippet, they can reproduce a voice that is virtually indistinguishable from the original.

Expert advice to avoid voice cloning scams

In light of the rising instances of voice cloning scams, experts offer some advice. They suggest having a special 'code word' that you share only with trusted friends and family members. If a call seems suspicious or you have any doubts, it's best to hang up and reach out to the person directly.

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