Published On: Sat, Sep 23rd, 2023

Disturbing AI voice spoofing phone scam is ‘impossible’ to tell apart from a genuine call | Personal Finance | Finance

are using AI technology to clone people’s voices and trick people into sending over money.

Graham Smith, head of customer success at cybersecurity specialist OryxAlign, told  scammers use the latest technology to clone a person’s voice and lure them in.

He said: “AI-based voice scams could range from bots that approximate an accent and can intelligently respond to questions in real-time, to fully fledged voice-spoofing, where the scammers use samples of a person’s real voice to mimic them.

“Combined with generative AI tools like ChatGPT, these kinds of scams would be almost impossible to discern from the real thing.”

In 2019, the CEO of a UK-based energy firm was scammed into transferring €220,000 (£191,000) to scammers, as he thought he was talking to the firm’s German parent company.

The scammers even managed to replicate his boss’ slight German accent and his particular intonations.

Mr Smith warned a lot of employee training around scams is based on phishing attacks rather than the risk of a spoofed phone call.

He explained: “These courses help you to spot a fake email from your boss but may not have a focus on voice scams.

“Given the rise of remote and hybrid working, this is even more important, as we may not even be in the same building or country as the person supposedly calling us.

“This means we have no way of physically checking-in with them to verify requests for things like money transfers or purchases.”

He said an important thing for companies and individuals to do is make sure other aspects of their cybersecurity are strong.

The expert said: “Of the few we’ve seen, they are almost always combined with other conventional data breaches to gain access to a customer’s account and personal details.

“This is where conventional cybersecurity approaches can help to prevent criminals from laying the groundwork for eventual voice attacks.”

Voice scams can also be used in banking as part of identity theft to take over a customer’s account, or for payment fraud to imitate a person to authorise a payment.

Mr Smith also warned against relying on antivirus software as most programmes are only 25 per cent successful and are usually designed to protect a particular device rather than a whole network.

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