People are going crazy over the possibilities that exist with artificial intelligence technology.  But sadly, so are scammers.

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What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence, also referred to as "A.I." is the simulation of human intelligence that is replicated by computer systems.  It can be used for all kinds of things from simple projects like coming up with movie suggestions to solving much more detailed problems.

People are excited about how it could help you with your shopping, give you suggestions that make sense in decision making, and even drive your car for you.

How are scammers taking advantage of artificial intelligence?

Unfortunately, not everyone intends to use artificial intelligence for good.  While some people are using it to pick music for their wedding, others are using it to steal money and personal information from others.

One of the things that AI can do is change your voice.  It can make you sound like someone else as you speak.  It can happen in real-time.

All the scammers are doing is calling people, normally elderly people, and telling them that something awful has happened to someone they know.  They'll change their voice and pretend to be a family member.  Then they say that either someone is in jail, or they're injured and they need money.  They can ask for information from the victim that could allow the scammer to steal their identity.

How are they able to copy their voice?

Scammers are able to grab clips of people's voices from short videos that may be posted online.  Clips like the one above could be used.  Then using a voice simulator AI, they can say whatever they want using the voice of the person in the video.

What can you do to make sure you don't get scammed this way?

It's a crazy world we live in these days.  It seems insane that we should have to do these things to know that we are actually talking to the people we think we are talking to.  But it could save you...a lot in the long run. Here are a few things that you and your loved ones can do to protect yourselves.

1. Hang up and call the person that they say they are right back using a number that you know is theirs.

2.  Ask them questions that only that person would know the answer to.

3. Agree to a code that you can use if something like this comes up.  Then, before giving any info, make sure they provide that code. (I know...it sounds crazy)

4. Never give money in gift cards.  That is one of the biggest red flags that it's a scam.  If someone asks you to give them money by purchasing gift cards, just hang up.  It's a scam!

These things happen right here in our neighborhoods.  No one thinks that it will happen to them until it's happened to them.  Make sure the elderly people in your life are aware that this is happening so that if they get that call, they're prepared with what to do next.

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