Beware of AI in Scams

Posted on November 22, 2023

IMAGE: Coworkers looking concerned at laptopAs the use of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to grow, scammers are taking advantage of AI to attempt fraud. In a McAfee survey of 2023's first quarter, more than one-third of victims lost $1,000 or more in AI scams. Victims of AI scams lost an average of $748, according to the FTC.1 Keep your identity and financial information protected by knowing common AI scams.

Generative AI Used for More Believable Scams

In the past, AI helped us understand data and give recommendations based on prompts. Now, generative AI takes that data and uses patterns to create content, including text, images, audio, and video. One example is Chat GPT, which searches the internet to gather text and respond to a writing prompt.

Scammers are using generative AI to create realistic voice recordings or text messages to impersonate real people. They can use the recordings for authentication or to deceive someone into thinking someone they know needs help. In both cases, the scammer wants to steal money or personal information, like a social security number.

Once the criminal has stolen information, they may combine this real data with fake details, including a fake name, address, and date of birth. They create a new identity, sometimes called a "Frankenstein ID," to commit synthetic fraud, one of the fastest-growing financial crimes.2

Synthetic Fraud and Deepfakes

With synthetic fraud, a scammer uses a single SSN to create multiple identities. The scammer could use these fake IDs to take out loans, apply for government benefits, open bank accounts to launder money, or other fraud. Many scammers steal SSNs belonging to children, older adults, and people without homes or incarcerated individuals.

Synthetic fraud also includes deepfakes, or the use of technology to manipulate videos and images. AI can create faces to hack biometric verification systems, including a smartphone's face scanner. Impersonating someone's voice enables scammers to commit fraud and steal sensitive information. Deepfakes can also make a person look like they're doing something they never did as an attempt at extortion.

Scammers Using Automation

AI not only allows scammers to generate fake IDs, but it lets them automate the processes to increase their attacks. Analyzing online behavior, such as social media profiles, helps machine learning to create personalized and credible messages. They then used these messages in chatbots, text messages, or emails to trick victims into taking specific actions to gain information. Hackers could include malware or a link to a fake website in the message to gather information.

Scammers can create a trail of activity online using a fake identity that makes it seem like they're a real person. By copying a real person's activity and impersonating them, they further gain access to personal information. Although AI is used in cybersecurity to identify fraud patterns, scammers can outsmart these systems using AI, allowing them to bypass security measures.

How to Protect Yourself From Fraud

Stay vigilant against online fraud by monitoring your credit report and financial accounts regularly. Identity theft insurance also monitors and sends alerts if there is an unauthorized use of your personal information. Learn more about preventing online fraud in our blog article.

Remember: If you're a member of Texell, we already have your information on file. We will never contact you to ask for your social security number, credit card number, account number, or Digital Banking credentials. Never give out personal information if you feel unsure, and call or text Texell's Member Services directly at 254.773.1604.

1 The Rise of AI Phone Scams from Business Insider.
2 What Is Synthetic ID Fraud from


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