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Consumer Alert: Don’t Fall for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Scams

Friday, January 26, 2024

When a new technology emerges, scammers are the first to exploit it to target unsuspecting consumers. Our office has been hearing reports of bad actors using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to clone popular figures’ voices to try and trick you out of your money or personal information. They may even clone the voice of someone you know. Usually, the calls sound like they are from someone you want to talk to and will make an urgent request asking you to send them money or even give over your bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, or other sensitive information.

Follow our tips to avoid AI scammers:

  • Be skeptical of out-of-the-blue calls from someone claiming to be a loved one or a celebrity. If you’re suspicious about a call you receive from someone claiming to be a loved one in distress, hang up, do not press “redial,” and contact the person directly using a trusted phone number. Ask questions that only your real family member would be able to answer. If you received the call on a landline, be sure to wait a few seconds before picking up the phone again to place your call to ensure that the scammer has been disconnected from your phone line.
  • Check your privacy settings and share carefully on social media. Review and remove audio recordings of yourself and loved ones from social media platforms to prevent scammers from manipulating voices. Make sure to edit your privacy settings and only connect with people you know personally to prevent scammers from getting access to your personal information.
  • Never wire transfer, send money, or buy gift cards in response to a phone call. Always verify the legitimacy of the request independently before taking action. Once you’ve sent money to a scammer, it’s much harder to get back. And if someone is asking you to buy gift cards, it is a scam.
  • Think before you act. It can be scary to hear your loved one in trouble on the other end of the line. Take a moment to stop, evaluate, and verify the situation so you don’t lose money.

If you think you or somebody you know has been the victim of a scam, contact our office’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at https://ncdoj.gov/complaint.

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