Phone scammers are now using artificial intelligence [AI] to clone the voices of grandchildren and others to con potential victims, according to the Wyoming Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons.

In the words of an AARP Wyoming news release:'

'Scammers are adept at manipulating the latest technological advances to commit their crimes. These days it’s happening in the world of artificial intelligence – commonly known as AI.

AI voice cloning is already bringing a new twist to scams that have been around forever. For instance, the grandparent scam calls now can feature the actual voice of the loved one the criminal is impersonating."

But Wyoming AARP spokesman Tom Lacock says that just because a voice on the phone sounds like a loved one, that doesn't change the basic rules of protecting yourself from scammers:

''The first sign of any fraud attempt is when an unexpected contact causes an immediate emotional reaction – often fear, panic, or excitement. Maybe training our brains to disengage when we feel that emotional surge could be the best way to disrupt the criminal act."

In it's monthly scam alert news release, AARP Wyoming identified the following cons as ones that scammers will use to con Wyoming residents this time of year:

WEIGHT LOSS SCAMS

The release says that with the arrival of summer, weight loss scams typically increase.. But quest One common tactic is the use of legitimate looking websites, often featuring celebrity endorsements. While the websites might offer supposedly "free trials," the fine print obligates people for the purchase of products or services. Making things worse is the fact that in many cases the supposed weight-loss products are worthless or even harmful.

Beware of phrasing about "miracle weight loss products."  People basically lose weight by burning more calories than they consume, and promises of 'fast weight loss" or "miracle products' should always be viewed skeptically

ONLINE QUIZZES

These may seem at first glance like harmless fun. But questions about things like your first car or your high school mascot often give scammers information that may be used to answer security questions.

The release also says:

Launching a quiz app may give its creators permission to pull information from your profile, offering hackers an opening to steal your online identity. Here are three social media scams to avoid.

Another common online scam features Facebook messages from supposed celebrities asking for help with charity drives or asking for help with investment. Needless to say, the messages are not from the celebrities and are another attempt to get personal or financial information

Finally, be aware of messages from social media contacts claiming to be videos of yourself or someone you know. The next step in this con is to direct you to a site that prompts you to log in. That, of course, is yet another way for hackers to get your credentials.

 

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