Phone Call Scam in India: Over 45% victims of AI fraud calls lost over Rs 50,000

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Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is fueling a rise in online voice scams, with just three seconds of audio required to clone a person’s voice. A new survey titled ‘The Artificial Imposter’ was conducted by McAfee with 7,054 people from seven countries, including India. The study shows that 69 per cent of Indians are not confident that they could identify the cloned version of a voice from the real thing, with 47 per cent of Indian adults have experienced or know someone who has experienced some kind of AI voice scam. The cost of falling for an AI voice scam can be significant, with 48 per cent of Indians who lost money saying it cost them over Rs 50,000.

The researchers at McAfee also found more than a dozen AI voice-cloning tools that were freely available on the internet. Some devices require only a basic level of experience and expertise, with just three seconds of audio enough to produce an 85 per cent match. By training the data models, McAfee researchers achieved a 95 per cent voice match based on just a small number of video files.

Cybercriminals are using AI technology to clone voices and then send fake voicemails or voice notes, or even call directly the victim’s contacts pretending to be in distress. With 66 per cent of the Indian respondents saying they would reply to a voicemail or voice note purporting to be from a friend or loved one in need of money, it is no surprise that this technique is gaining momentum.

How to avoid being a victim of a voice scam

In order to avoid becoming a victim of AI voice scams, it is important to remain vigilant and take proactive steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. You should verify the caller, use a codeword, or ask a question only they would know. Identity and privacy protection services will also help limit the digital footprint of personal information that a criminal can use to develop a compelling narrative when creating a voice clone.

Also read: AI Scam Alert: Popular Reddit user ‘Claudia’ exposed as fake, found selling private pictures

Also read: ‘I will reimburse you’: Scammers posing as Meesho CEO Vidit Aatrey in latest phishing scam


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