Fraud Alert: Deep Fake and Cloned Voice Scams Pose a Serious Threat


Posted on Monday, June 24, 2024 in Security and Fraud Prevention

Fraudsters often take advantage of new technology to trick consumers into giving them money. While innovative technology can be beneficial to many, it can also be detrimental when utilized by scammers. Recently, scammers have been using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to impersonate law enforcement, employees, or family members to extract private personal and banking information from their victims.

Scammers often spoof email addresses to trick consumers into sending money to help a friend or family member, and AI allows them to employ the same tactics through phone calls. Using a method called voice cloning or a deepfake scam, criminals use AI to mimic someone else’s voice, using a very small audio sample.

These fraudsters may call you, claiming to be a family member, and try to trick you into believe there is an emergency that requires an urgent transfer of funds. Scammers may also try to impersonate your boss and ask you to wire money for a rush project or claim to be a kidnapper demanding you pay a ransom.

Fraud Alert

To help prevent such scams, employ these five tips to help protect yourself.

  1. Don’t panic. Scammers prey on your emotions. If you think a loved one is in danger, you’re more likely to act quickly without questioning the validity of the situation. Before you act, take a step back and think about the request that is being made.  Contact the loved one personally, using a previously verified method of communication, before jumping into the situation without thinking.
  2. Trust your instincts. If you receive a call but something feels off, there’s a good chance it could be a scam. Rely on your intuition in these situations. If something doesn’t feel or sound right, a little bit of investigation can save you money and heartache.
  3. Know how to spot red flags. There are many warning signs that can help you determine if such a phone call is a scam. Some red flags to watch for include:
    1. The call comes from an unknown number.
    2. You only briefly hear the person you know before the phone is passed off to someone else.
    3. You are asked to send money immediately for any reason. If the money requested is via cryptocurrency or gift cards, this should raise an additional red flag.
    4. You are asked for personal or financial account information.
  4. Call the person that is supposedly contacting you. If you receive this type of phone call, there is one person you can rely on to verify its legitimacy – the actual person who supposedly contacted you. Call or text that person using the contact information you have saved for them. You’ll find out quickly whether it was a scam.
  5. Be proactive. Stay ahead of the fraudsters by choosing a safe word only your family knows that you can use to verify their identity over the phone.

If you receive suspicious phone calls from a scammer impersonating someone you know, report it to the Federal Trade Commission immediately at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov or by calling (877) 382-4357. You should let friends and family know you received the call, so they can be on alert for suspicious calls as well.

If you believe your United Bank & Trust accounts have been compromised, stop in or contact us at (641) 753-5900 or [email protected].

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