What is Artificial Intelligence?

man on the phone talking with creditors

You may have heard the term artificial intelligence or AI, but exactly what is it? AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. It is a type of technology that enables machines to mimic human thinking and actions. AI is used in many industries and can be helpful. Recommended programming on your favorite streaming sites, directions to local restaurants from your phone, and step goals on your smartwatch are all ways in which AI is useful.

Unfortunately, there are bad actors who use AI to deceive and manipulate people. AI makes it possible to clone the voices of loved ones and even mimic video clips to seem like a loved one is video chatting with you. Scammers pretending to be a loved one in trouble can trick people into sending money, gift cards, or other forms of currency, believing that they are helping. Do not fall for this scam!

When Should You Be Concerned?

Anytime you receive an unsolicited call, and the caller asks for personal information or money, you should proceed with caution.  There are warning signs that you should be aware of. Even if the caller sounds like a friend or loved one, still exercise caution.

  • The caller is pressuring you to act fast.
  • The caller asks for gift cards, cryptocurrency, or credit card numbers.
  • The caller asks for personal information, such as your social security number.
  • The caller sounds rushed.
  • The caller gets flustered if you hesitate or ask questions.
  • The caller does not know the predetermined safe word.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

If you are unsure of the nature of the call and whether or not it is legitimate, there are a few steps you can take.

  • Confirm the identity of the person, either by asking for a predetermined safe word or asking a question that only the person could answer.
  • Call another family member to find out the whereabouts of the person “in trouble.”
  • Text the person using the contact in your phone. Do not just return the call using Caller ID. That can be manipulated. If you return the call using Caller ID it will go back to the scammers.
  • Review the privacy settings on social media. Limit viewing of audio and video posts to people you know.

Have You Been Scammed?

woman on the phone wondering if she has been scammed

It can be difficult to get your money back, but the sooner you take action, the better. No matter the method of payment, contact the issuing organization as quickly as possible. Explain the situation and ask for the charges to be reversed. Debit and credit cards will need to be canceled with new ones issued.

If you are the victim of fraud or a scam, it is important to report the incident to local law enforcement. Reporting leads to greater awareness and education.

The Federal Trade Commission offers information and consumer advice about the latest scams.

Where Can You File a Complaint?