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Expert says scammers could take advantage of iOS 17's 'Live Voicemail' transcriptions

Experts say to watch for iOS 17's 'Live Voicemail" feature
Experts say to watch for iOS 17's "Live Voicemail" feature 02:24

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Our technology keeps getting better but so do the scammers trying to con us.

A lot of iPhone users will soon make use of the latest software update, iOS 17, but an expert says we need to pay close attention to one new feature. 

Most of us get calls from phone numbers we don't have. We just pick the phone up, silence it and decide to listen to the voicemail later. But now a new update, iOS 17, is going to have "Live Voicemail." It will pop up the words and experts say scammers will pop up too.

In a world of constant communication, it's all about speed and convenience with our phones. 

"Live Voicemails, like the old answering machines that some of us remember from 20 years ago, except that it transcribes the incoming call," YouMail CEO Alex Quilici said.

Apple revealed the new feature during this week's launch. But Quilici says people are one click away from a scam.

"So what Apple does is it shows you the transcription as they're leaving the message, and you can break in. And so when you break in, you're now on the phone call, at which point you could press one, or you can start talking to them," said Quilici.

KDKA-TV asked him how he thinks it'll impact consumer safety across the age range. 

"Well, so we did a survey a while ago in April, and we wanted to understand who's getting scammed, and for how much. And our hypothesis was it was older people, right? It turned out younger people actually got scammed more than older people, but for a lower amount. And if you think about it, it kind of makes sense," Quilici said.

Quilici said YouMail's survey revealed young people are just more used to getting texts or calls about things and handling it fast before hanging out. Older people can be more suspicious but get taken for larger amounts of money.

And these roboscams keep getting better and better. 

"They're often really compelling and they give people a sense of urgency. If you see something that says, 'This is your bank calling, and there's about to be a $2,000 transfer out of your account,' there's a little part of you that goes, 'Oh, I need to stop that.' Okay, you press one. And now you're down where they're asking you questions. And all of a sudden, you're giving them info. You don't mean to. And we see on our personal Nextdoor every day, there's someone who's taken from one of these scams," Quilici said.

What can consumers do to stay safe? Quilici said once you get the update on your phone, you can go into the settings on your phone and turn off the Live Voicemail or you can use it, just while knowing scammers are using it too. 

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