Ruthless scammers are always looking for the next big con, and they might’ve found it: using AI to imitate your loved ones over the phone.
When a 73-year-old Ruth Card heard what she thought was the voice of her grandson Brandon on the other end of the line saying he needed money for bail, she and her husband rushed to the bank.
« It was definitely this feeling of… fear, » Card told The Washington Post. « That we’ve got to help him right now. »
The couple withdrew the maximum of 3,000 Canadian dollars at one bank and went to another for more. Fortunately, a vigilant bank manager flagged them down and warned them that another customer had gotten a similar phone call that sounded like it was from a loved one — but it turned out the voice had been faked.
Not all were as lucky. The 39-year-old Benjamin Perkin told WaPo how his elderly parents were swindled out of thousands of dollars with the help of an AI impersonator.
Perkin’s parents had received a phone call from a lawyer, who claimed that their son killed a US diplomat in a car crash and needed money for legal fees. The apparent lawyer then let Perkin speak on the phone — and the voice sounded just like him.
This convinced them. When the lawyer later called back asking for CAD $21,000, his parents went to the bank and sent the money through BitCoin.