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Former FBI agent warns of AI phone scams

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A retired FBI agent is worried criminals will turn to artificial intelligence to rip people off.

Doug Kouns, who owns his own security firm Veracity, says criminals can manipulate your own voice, then use it against you in a scam.

“Most recently it was used out west, I think in Arizona, on a victim there where they take a voice recording, taken off social media and then used AI to create recordings of that person’s voice to pretend like they had been kidnapped,” said Kouns.

“Basically, you would type in what you want it to say and it would say it and sound like you,” he added.

Kouns hasn’t heard of anyone successfully pulling off a scam using someone else’s AI-generated voice, but believes it’s only a matter of time before it happens.

He says there are things you can do now to protect yourself, such as making your social media pages visible to only friends and family, and having pre-designed safeguards in place.

“[Something] like a code word, so if my kid ever called me and they are actually in trouble I can set up a word to know who they say they are,” said Kouns.

If you become a victim, catching the perpetrator could be difficult because they may live in another country and could shield their IP address. Kouns worries AI scams could become the crime of the future.

“It’s not only going to going to put people at risk for being defrauded, but it’s also going to make everybody not trust each other,” Kouns said.

He added that scammers could also send you phishing emails based on what you post on your social media accounts.