AI Fraud and How to Protect YourselfChelsea Rogers
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way we live and work. Unfortunately, it’s also revolutionizing the way scammers con unsuspecting victims into sharing their personally identifiable information and their money. Here’s what you need to know about AI fraud and how to protect yourself.
Understanding AI and its applications
Before we delve into the security concerns, it’s crucial to understand what AI is and how it works. Artificial Intelligence refers to the capability of machines to mimic human intelligence, performing tasks such as problem-solving, speech recognition, and decision-making. AI algorithms learn from data, enabling them to make predictions, classify information, and even automate complex processes.
AI has brought tremendous benefits to industries like finance, healthcare, and customer service. In fact, AI can enhance services at credit unions like personalized financial advice, fraud detection, and efficient customer support. However, as AI evolves, so do the tactics used by malicious actors to exploit its potential for their gain.
What is AI fraud?
AI fraud is the use of artificial intelligence to deceive or defraud individuals or organizations. When using artificial intelligence to pull off a scam, fraudsters use AI algorithms to create convincing fake identities, manipulate social media, generate deepfake images and videos, and more. The scammers then create fake social media profiles and email addresses using these bogus identities and footage. Often, they’ll pretend to represent celebrities or other famed personalities for soliciting money and information.
In another form of AI fraud, scammers use social engineering tactics to trick people into giving them their personal information or money. They may create fake websites or emails that appear to be from legitimate sources, such as financial institutions or government agencies, and ask people to provide their personal information or login credentials.
AI fraud is especially dangerous because its sophistication makes it difficult to detect. Thanks to AI technology, scammers appear to be legitimate, increasing the likelihood that people will fall for their scams.
Types of AI fraud
Each type of AI fraud has its own unique characteristics and risks. AI fraud is executed in several forms, including:
- Phishing Attacks. AI can analyze vast amounts of data to craft convincing phishing emails that appear genuine, tricking recipients into sharing sensitive information.
- Deepfakes. AI-generated deepfake videos can manipulate visual and auditory content, leading to misinformation and even fake financial transactions.
- Voice Cloning. Advanced AI voice synthesis can replicate a person’s voice, potentially leading to voice-based identity theft or convincing fraudulent calls.
- Impersonation. Fraudsters can use AI to mimic the writing styles of individuals, creating messages that seem to come from trusted sources, like financial institutions.
- Identity theft. AI-powered scammers can use stolen personal data to generate convincing messages, making it appear as if they’re legitimate individuals seeking sensitive information or access to accounts.
- Social media manipulation. AI can automate the creation of fake profiles and generate persuasive content to spread misinformation, influence opinions, or engage in phishing attacks through comments and messages.
- Chatbot scams. Fraudulent chatbots can mimic customer support representatives, luring victims into providing personal information or making payments for fake services or products.
- Fraudulent financial advice. AI-generated messages can offer seemingly sophisticated investment strategies or financial advice, leading individuals to make risky investments or share financial details with scammers posing as experts.
Are you being targeted by AI fraud? These red flags may be your first clue of an AI scam:
- Multiple unsolicited emails and/or text messages.
- Being asked to provide personal information or login credentials by an unverified contact.
- Unusual and/or unexplained activity on your social media accounts.
- Receiving financial advice that seems too good to be true.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to be cautious and investigate further. If the contact claims to represent a government agency, do not engage. Reach out directly to the agency that supposedly contacted you to see if the communication is legit. Follow the same steps if you’ve been contacted by an alleged representative of Scott Credit Union and something about the interaction has set alarm bells ringing in your head. It’s always better to be on the safe side when it comes to your personally identifiable information and your money.
Protect yourself from AI scams
You don’t have to wait to be targeted by AI fraud to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams. Keep your money and information secure by following these precautions at all times:
- Never share sensitive information online with an unverified contact.
- Always check the URL of each landing page when banking online or using another platform to share sensitive information. Look for the “s” after the “http” and the padlock icon, as well as the correct spelling of the company’s website to ensure you haven’t been lured into a look-alike scammy site.
- Use strong, unique passwords across all of your accounts.
- Keep your device’s security on its strongest setting.
- Be wary of messages from celebrities asking for money or information.
- Use updated antivirus software on your personal devices.
If you’ve been targeted
If you suspect you’ve been the victim of AI fraud, it is important to act quickly to mitigate the damage. First, contact Scott Credit Union at 618-345-1000 to let us know your information has been compromised. Similarly, reach out to your credit card companies to let them know about the fraud. Next, report the fraud to the FTC so they can take appropriate measures in catching the humans behind the bot-generated scam.
You’ll also want to change your passwords and login credentials and consider a credit freeze. Finally, if your identity has been stolen, reach out to identitytheft.gov to learn your next steps.
While AI brings numerous benefits, it’s essential to be vigilant about potential security risks, such as AI fraud and scams. By staying informed, adopting best practices, and choosing trusted partners like Scott Credit Union, you can navigate the world of AI with confidence, knowing that your financial well-being is in safe hands.
At Scott Credit Union, your financial safety is our priority. Be sure to check out our security videos on YouTube to discover how you can better protect yourself from scammers and other types of fraud.