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"Really big problem": Fake Biden robocalls investigated in New Hampshire

Fake Biden robocall discourages New Hampshire Democrats from voting in primary
Fake Biden robocall discourages New Hampshire Democrats from voting in primary 02:23

LONDONDERRY, NH - Deep fake robocalls in New Hampshire are spreading false election information, according to the New Hampshire Attorney General's office. Investigators say the calls use artificial intelligence to generate a fake version of President Joe Biden's voice urging people not to vote in Tuesday's primary.

"Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again. Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday," says the fake voice in a recording obtained by WBZ.

The call directs people to contact Kathy Sullivan, former state Democratic Party chair, if they want to stop getting the calls. "This is someone who is trying to mislead people into thinking that it was Joe Biden calling. I mean that's identity theft," said Sullivan.

Biden's name is not on New Hampshire's ballot because the national Democratic Party is only recognizing South Carolina's primary as its first official one. That has prompted a "Write-In Biden" team, led by New Hampshire State Representative Angela Brennan. She's now concerned about high-tech fraud affecting turnout. "You know, it's not like maybe it used to be where it costs thousands of dollars to create a deep fake. We're talking about something that someone can do on their phone in five minutes time. It's a really big problem and it's something we all need to be paying attention to," said Brennan.

New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan said he expects record-setting high numbers of voters on the Republican side Tuesday. But voters leaning Democrat have little motivation, between long-shot candidates and an incumbent who's not even on the ballot.

Now, he says, this new type of fraud presents a challenge. "That is a growing concern among secretaries of state around the country related to elections generally, not just this one," he said. "The evolution of artificial intelligence being able to create deep fakes that could give incorrect or misleading messages."

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Election Law Unit is asking people who got the robocall to disregard it and report it to the A.G.'s office. 

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