In a disturbing new trend, scammers have taken advantage of advanced artificial intelligence technology to replicate people’s voices, leading to a surge in cases where relatives and close friends fall victim to elaborate voice-based scams. This insidious practice has left local authorities and cybersecurity experts scrambling to tackle the issue and warn citizens about the dangers lurking in the digital age.
Recent incidents in Brevard County have highlighted the extent of this emerging threat, with two unsuspecting victims falling prey to these convincing voice replication scams.
Ellen Jacobs, a 32-year-old resident of Melbourne, fell victim to a scam that impersonated her sister’s voice. The scammer, armed with a remarkably convincing voice imitation, managed to persuade Ellen to transfer a substantial amount of money, believing she was aiding her sister in a financial emergency. Ellen expressed her shock, stating, “I was certain it was my sister on the other end. The voice was identical – the tone, the laughter – everything. I had no reason to doubt.”
Similarly, Justin Mercer, a 45-year-old local businessman, received a phone call that seemed to be from his son, convincing him he had been arrested out of state, and needed bail money. Falling for the ruse, Justin sent a significant sum of money, only to discover later that his son had never made the call. “I would’ve bet my life it was him,” John said. “The AI mimicked every nuance of his voice. I never saw it coming.”