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There’s a whole new level of evil on the internet since we reported about it last year. Some of them are similar to our list in our other article about cyber scams, but more sophisticated – thanks to AI. There are many new ways to steal your money, according to Experian, but we only picked the most serious ones.

FAMILY EMERGENCY SCAMS

This elaborate scheme involves scammers using AI to clone a person’s voice, which is then used to trick loved ones into sending money to cover a supposed emergency.

The FTC first sounded the alarm last year; Don’t trust the voice. The agency warned consumers that long gone are the days of easily identifiable clumsy scams, and sophisticated technologies have brought along a new level of challenges officials are still trying to figure out.

All that is needed to replicate a human voice is a short audio of that person speaking — in some cases readily accessible through content posted on social media. The voice is mimicked with an AI voice-cloning program to sound just like the original clip. Learn more at independent.co.uk

ROMANCE SCAMS

Romance scams have been around for a while but they’re even more insidious today. Post-pandemic loneliness and isolation may be a reason  people are more vulnerable these days. Recently, the FBI warned that a little romance can lead to a lot of problems.

The agency warned that scammers identify and target vulnerable victims on social media to quickly establish a relationship. Many of these scams start on social media or dating apps.

According to the FTC, people lost $1.3 billion to romance scams in 2022, with median losses of $4,400 per person. The FBI urges individuals to be careful about the personal information they post online and always assume con artists are trolling dating and social media sites.

AI-POWERED SCAMS

The most obvious examples of scammers using artificial intelligence (AI) includes:

  • Write more convincing and natural-sounding phishing emails and text messages.
  • Create deepfakes of celebrities to trick victims into thinking they’re investing in a good company or project.
  • Impersonate the victim’s friend or relative and ask for money as part of a family emergency or grandparent scam.
  • Impersonate an employer and ask for personal information.

The potential to create an image, video, or voice of someone else could make existing scams even more believable and opens up new opportunities for scammers.

ONLINE PURCHASE SCAMS

Online purchase scams are one of the riskiest types of scams, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) 2022 Online Scams Report. The BBB found that people most commonly reported being victims after trying to buy a puppy online.

Some scammers set up fake e-commerce stores and buy ads for the website on social media. The FTC reported that 44% of social media scams from January to June 2023 were related to online shopping. Additionally, scammers might list items for sale on online marketplaces, including social media marketplaces.

The scammers might take your money and never send anything in return. Or they might be committing triangulation fraud and purchasing the item you bought with someone else’s stolen credit card. You might not realize you were part of a scam unless you try to return the item or use a warranty.
Experian wants you look for red flags such as too-good-to-be-true prices, lack of details or high-pressure sales tactics

ZELLE,  PAYPAL & CASHAPP SCAMS

Scammers are turning to Zelle and other peer-to-peer payment apps to steal your money.

The scammer might email, text, or call you pretending to work for your bank or credit union’s fraud department. They’ll claim that a thief was trying to steal your money through a payment app and they have to help you “fix” the issue. Then, they may instruct you to send the money to yourself, but the money will actually go to their account.

Starting in mid-2023, Zelle began refunding victims of some scams. However, you might not always be eligible for reimbursements, so it’s important to be wary of these types of financial scams.

FAKE JOB SCAMS

Fake job scams have been around for a while, but technology has made these crimes easier and more profitable. The fraudster will spoof a company website and post bogus jobs. They will gather your personal identifiable information (PII) and ask for your social security number. Never give anyone your social security number. Do not accept any job offers that want to use your own bank account to transfer money. Do not give a prospective employer your credit card number.

When it comes to the internet, the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, for scammers and con artists, the possibilities are endless, too.