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Experts warn shoppers of new scams during holiday season, including AI

Experts warn shoppers of wave of new scams including AI
Experts warn shoppers of wave of new scams including AI 02:24

SACRAMENTO - Scams skyrocket during the holiday season and now criminals are using artificial intelligence as a way to steal personal and financial information. Experts are urging consumers to stay vigilant.

Whether it's on your phone or computer, scammers are developing new ways to separate you from your money.

"Consumer scams, especially during the holidays or any Amazon Prime sale period, are truly concerning," said Celia Surridge, a BBB spokeswoman. 

Some of the top holiday scams include social media scams, missed package scams, fake gift cards and fake websites.

Now, a new type of scam has emerged under the guise of artificial intelligence.

"With today's technology, scammers can use audio and video effects to mimic a loved one's voice," Surridge said. 

Using AI, scammers are able to clone someone's voice pretending to be a family member in trouble and then requesting them to send money over the phone.

The trend is now catching the attention of lawmakers.

"Over the last two years, fraud has more than doubled across the country," Rep. Josh Harder said. 

New data from the Federal Trade Commission shows consumers lost nearly $9 billion in 2022 to fraud, a 30% increase from the previous year. AI scams are expected to contribute to a rise this year.

"Technology is advancing rapidly, and we need to ensure our laws can keep pace," Harder said. 

Harder has introduced the Artificial Intelligence Accountability Act, aiming to hold tech companies responsible.

"If the technology they develop is not being abused for criminal activity," Harder said. 

In the meantime, the FBI has a few tips to safeguard your money:

  • Don't answer calls from unknown numbers
  • If someone claims to be a family member but sounds off, hang up
  • Verify with other family members
  • Limit personal information on social media
  • Never give out personal information over the phone without verifying the caller's identity.

If you fall victim to any scam, the FBI advises you to report it right away by clicking here

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