Generative AI is changing the world of robocalls by letting hackers imitate the sounds of people we know. This makes fake calls seem more trustworthy and increases the chance that scams will work.
Robocalls, which disrupt our days with deceptive offers or false threats, have long been an annoyance, according to CNBC. Today, though, robocalls are different, and the people on the other side of the line may sound very familiar. Generative AI has joined the fight and can now imitate the sounds of our friends, family, or coworkers. This makes the fake calls seem more credible and dangerous.
“Generative AI is being used more and more to talk to you in real-time and sound like a person you know,” stated Jonathan Nelson, head of product management at Hiya Inc., a company that makes software and data for telephony. People no longer trust phone calls as much as they used to because of changes in technology. Now, every ring is a possible risk.
AI progress has made it simpler for scammers to make interactive voice response (IVR) scams, which are also known as “vishing” or (voice phishing). “What used to be a very specific spam attack can become a lot more common with the help of generative AI,” Nelson said. Voice-sharing websites have made this new type of scam more common because they make it easier for scammers to get the information they need to make their fake calls.
This month, Breitbart News wrote about how these kinds of scams work. In the most recent version, parents were called and asked for help using the sounds of their children that were made by AI:
“The NY Post reports that people on New York City’s Upper West Side are shocked and scared because scammers are using AI to pretend to be their children and make up realistic but scary situations. One mother told the terrifying story of getting a call from someone she thought was her 14-year-old daughter, sobbing and saying she was sorry and that she had been arrested. The voice sounded so believable that the mother was ready to hand over $15,500 in cash for bail because she thought her daughter had hit a pregnant woman’s vehicle while driving underage.”
The scam was found out when her real daughter, who was taking a chemistry test at school, called her to let her know that she was safe. When the mother thought back on the event, she said, “I know it was very stupid, and I am definitely not a stupid person, but when you hear the sound of your child’s voice, crying, screaming, it just throws you on an entirely different level.”