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The older generations of Americans apparently lost $1.1 billion due to AI-driven fraud schemes in 2022, according to the Senate Committee on Aging. Many of the schemes included AI-generated technology that mimicked the voices of people the elderly know.
Fox News Digital reported that the committee held a hearing on AI scams on Thursday, and Senator Bob Casey published the annual fraud book that drew attention to the most-used scams in 2022.
The committee found that from January 2020 to June 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered that individuals had lost $13 million involving grandparent and person-in-need scams. Senator Elizabeth Warren noted that the estimated financial losses are "almost surely an understatement."
Warren pointed to the vast amounts of individuals who likely do not report the fraud, which likely makes the prevalence of the scheme much higher than the data suggests.
Casey called for federal action to be taken to tackle the problem of AI-drive scams, which the government can do through legislation.
"Any consumer, no matter their age, gender, or background, can fall victim to these ultra-convincing scams, and the stories we heard today from individuals across the country are heartbreaking," Casey said.
"As a parent and grandparent, I relate to the fear and concern these victims must feel."
McKnight's Senior Living reported that in 2022, the specific covered by the most recent fraud book, the committee's fraud hotline received almost 700 new complaints. The total number of complaints made since 2013 is 11,800.
McKnight's listed the following ten scams as the most frequently used: "financial services personation and fraud (9%); healthcare and health insurance scams (8%); robocalls and unsolicited calls (7%); tech support and computer scams (6%); romance scams (4%); government imposter scams, identity theft, sweepstakes and lottery scams, and business impersonation and shopping scams (3% each); and person-in need and grandparents scams (2%)."
Gary Schildhorn, an attorney in Philadelphia, was nearly the victim of an AI-driven scam that tried to get him to send $9,000 to his daughter-in-law. While he admitted that he was close to sending it, he double-checked with his daughter-in-law, who apparently explained that it was not her or Schildhorn's son who asked for the money.
The scammer appeared to use a sophisticated type of artificial intelligence, which explained that the funds were needed to bail Schildhorn's son out of jail for causing a car accident and failing a breathalyzer test.
"There was no doubt in my mind that it was his voice on the phone — it was the exact cadence with which he speaks," Schildhorn said. "I sat motionless in my car just trying to process these events. How did they get my son’s voice? The only conclusion I can come up with is that they used artificial intelligence, or AI, to clone his voice… it is manifestly apparent that this technology… provide[s] a riskless avenue for fraudsters to prey on us."
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