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Beware of voice cloning scams

In this month’s Cybersecurity Minute, we wanted to bring awareness to trending scams involving artificial intelligence (AI’s), voice cloning technology.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cybercriminals are using  voice cloning technology to impersonate their victims and tricking them into a variety of scams conducted primarily by phone.
  • The scam starts with cybercriminals gaining access to someone’s recorded voice (easily accessible through social media).
  • They then take that audio recording and put it through a special software with the capability to clone that person’s voice.

SCENARIO 1- Call from a loved one in trouble

You receive a call from a criminal impersonating a family, friend or work colleague.  Perhaps, they’re claiming to be in some sort of trouble and needing of your immediate financial assistance via wire transfer, gift cards or cryptocurrency purchases.  You hesitate, but quickly decide to move forward in helping because you did recognize the voice on the other end of the call.

SCENARIO 2- Email from a colleague or your boss

You receive a spoofed email from someone impersonating a colleague or your boss.  In the email, they express the need for immediate assistance and ask for the best number to reach you.  Upon providing it, a criminal impersonating your boss or colleague contacts you and then proceeds with their request for assistance, many times involving payment of an invoice, money wire/ transfer, etc.

How to prevent falling victim:

  1. Don’t trust the voice.  If you receive a call with a similar request, verify the contact and story before proceeding by calling them directly.
    1. If unable to reach them, try to get in touch with them through another family member or friend
  2. Keep all eyes open for these phishing campaigns using spoofed email addressees attempting to impersonate a colleague or lead within your business.
    1. VERIFY before replying