How to Avoid Artificial Intelligence and Deep Fake Scams
keeping-my-information-safe | Read Time: 3 minutes
By Robert Eastwood and Mike Dzielak | Published: June 2023
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be a powerful tool, but what happens when it falls into the hands of scammers?
While AI can help with things like chatbots for customer service and writing emails, it can also be leveraged by nefarious actors through deep fake scams that can mimic human voices, create fake videos, photos and more to take advantage of unsuspecting victims.
How it Works
Phone scams are nothing new, but with the help of AI, they’ve become more realistic and a more powerful weapon for scammers. Scammers will use AI to:
- Take videos, photos and other information from your social media profiles and other websites and use AI to create realistic deep fakes for their fraudulent schemes. They even leverage things like posts from your current vacation to identify their targets.
- Once they’ve created a deep fake of a real voice of your loved one, they’ll call you to say they’re in trouble and need money. Scammers have even taken things as far as faking kidnappings and using deep fake voices to make their ransom calls seem legitimate. As AI continues to evolve and become more realistic, scammers are also using it to create videos that may look and sound just like your loved ones to leverage in their scheme.
- Scammers play up the sense of urgency and seriousness of the situation to get you to act quickly and without thinking.
- Scammers will ask for payment in cash, gift cards or cryptocurrency to try to make their schemes untraceable.
How to Protect Yourself
- Mark your social media profiles as private and watch how much information you share on social media and other websites. That post or video from your vacation could be used by a scammer to create deep fakes or in other social engineering scams.
- Use caution when answering calls from unknown phone numbers. Scammers have been known to spoof legitimate phone numbers for businesses and individuals as well, so if something seems off about a call you receive from someone you know, it could be a scam.
- Take a deep breath before acting and try to contact your loved one directly.
- Contact the police immediately.
- Contact your financial institutions if you shared any sensitive personal or financial information to get new accounts and debit/credit cards. Monitor your accounts closely for suspicious charges.
AI can be a helpful tool in many instances. With the proper knowledge and vigilance, you can help protect yourself for when this powerful technology is leveraged by scammers.
About the Authors
Robert Eastwood is Senior Vice President, Chief Information Security Officer at WSFS Bank. He has more than 24 years of experience in the information security field, including nearly 20 years at WSFS, most recently as Vice President, Information Security Officer, where he developed and executed a multi-year strategic plan for Information Security. He also holds a number of professional certifications and memberships in the Information Services, IT and financial services fields.
Michael Dzielak, MBA is Senior Vice President, Director of Financial Crimes at WSFS Bank. Prior to joining WSFS, he spent more than 20 years at the FBI, most recently as a Special Agent on the White Collar Crime Squad, where he was responsible for investigating financial fraud and corruption, and was a leader of global and national criminal investigations in the financial institution fraud, money laundering, government fraud, healthcare fraud, public corruption, civil rights and child exploitation arenas.
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