Technology has gotten a major makeover in the last few years. As if voice assistants like Siri and Alexa weren’t resourceful enough, recent innovations in artificial intelligence have transformed life as we know it.
However, there are plenty of downsides to the way AI is changing the game. For example, it has become even easier for fraudsters to take advantage of innocent, unsuspecting people.
This woman and her mom were almost the victims of a terrifying AI phone scam.
In a now-viral video, Mandy explained that she had gotten a frantic call from her mom days earlier. “I was driving back to Pittsburgh. And my mom calls me frantic," she said.
She added: “I can hear like the trembling in her voice and she has me really nervous. And she's like, ‘I just got a call. And it was this man and you were hysterically crying in the background saying, Mom, please help. Please help, please help.’ And she's like, ‘It was your voice.'”
Seconds later, a man got on the phone and threatened to hurt Mandy if her mom didn’t pay a ransom. At the time, her mom was getting an MRI at the hospital, so it was hard to hear everything that was happening on the other side of the phone.
Soon after, her mom and the purported kidnapper got disconnected. It was then that she reached out to Mandy. Oddly enough, when the scammers called Mandy’s mom, it came in from Mandy’s number.
“But here's a really scary part about it. It came up as my contact, they spoofed the number. So these people know my cell phone number. And they know my mom's cell phone number,” she added.
Because Mandy nor her mom had ever heard of the AI scam, they struggled to make sense of the situation.
It wasn’t until later that they learned what was really going on. Her brother, who works in IT and engineering, filled her in.
“My brother said that they could actually take TikTok and other things that I've spoken in and use AI to make it sound like I'm hysterically crying on the phone,” the TikToker revealed, adding that although her brother and her dad heard about the scam, they’d “never known somebody that was directly impacted by it.”
And Mandy isn’t the only person who’s almost been a victim of this particular crime. In fact, months earlier, another woman came forward with the same story.
“This was so scary for me and my family and just want to make sure other people know about this disgusting scam people are playing,” Mandy wrote in the caption. “Trust me that is going to come back to you.”
It won’t be the first time that scammers try to defraud someone using this method, and unfortunately won’t be the last. That’s exactly why TikTok user @the.self.defense.girl recommends that you and your family get yourselves a safe word ASAP … and that’s a pretty brilliant idea.
Stay safe out here, folks!