Protect Yourself Against These Insidious New Scams

( – The pace at which artificial intelligence is improving is downright frightening. While not perfect, today’s consumer-grade AI programs can produce videos of well-known faces and voices good enough to fool the average viewer. And it’s only getting better.

Like all developing technologies, AI can be used for good or for ill. That’s where scammers come in. The days of emails from Nigerian “princes” are drawing to a close. Now you’re likely to get a phone call from your “granddaughter” claiming she’s in trouble and needs you to wire her money.

Here are some of the most common AI scams and how to detect them.

Voices of friends and family

The phone rings and it’s your son saying he got arrested for drunk driving and you need to send some money electronically to his lawyer. Except it’s not your son, and there is no lawyer. It’s a criminal using a dirt-cheap AI voice generator which has been trained on video samples found online. There’s probably no way for you to discern the fake voice from the real one.

What to do? First, check the number calling. Do you recognize it? Then, call your son, or whichever family member apparently called you. It’s the only way to be sure.

Emails and texts to fool you

We’ve all received emails that claim we need to act fast on a warranty for our car, or that we have an outstanding bill with a vendor we know. They’ve gotten so good that even the sharpest people have been taken in. But they’re getting even better. With AI tech, emails and texts can mention places you shop and products you’ve bought in a natural way, making the communication seem legitimate. Even the email address it’s being sent from can appear genuine.

Remember, never click on a link unless you’re sure it’s legitimate. If you’re not, contact the named business to find out.


These are the most serious scams. You may get a communication telling you that someone has compromising information about you or pictures of you or someone you love. Never respond, and certainly don’t pay a ransom. Contact the police immediately.

Copyright 2024,