What is an AI Voice Cloning Robocall Scam?

Scammers are always trying to stay one step ahead of the rest of us when it comes to using technology for their schemes. It has been widely reported that scams are evolving by using artificial intelligence (AI) voice cloning. So, how does it work? Voice cloning is essentially when someone uses the recording of a person’s voice and uses AI to change or manipulate the message.

In February 2024, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declared that AI generated robocalls are illegal to prevent the use of nefarious voice cloning. This will enable company fines and blocking of these calls, but it is still important to be aware of AI generated scams.

The scam that sparked major concern around the world was imitating President Biden, just before the New Hampshire primary election. The calls were traced to a company in Texas called the Life Corporation, who had sent out up to 25,000 of these robocalls with a voice-cloned message of Biden telling people to not vote in the primary. If you heard the message, it does sound similar to Biden as it even uses some of his catchphrases. The information in the call is alarming – a politician telling citizens to not vote is very questionable – but it does sound scarily legitimate.

Another dangerous AI scam reported happened to a couple in Brooklyn, NY in March 2024. The couple received a call in the middle of the night from what sounded like a family member’s voice and a person who was holding her ransom. The family member was in a panic and then a man came on the phone who was demanding they send money to a Venmo account. The caller was demanding a small amount of money for a ransom – $500 – so the couple sent it in exchange for their family member’s safety. The call continues when the caller asks for more money transfers. After about 25 minutes on the phone going back and forth with the caller, he ended the call by telling them to call the family member to prove they are safe. When they did, the family member had no idea what they were talking about – it was all a scam. The caller had mimicked the family member’s voice at the beginning of the call using AI to trick the couple.

According to ۶Ƶ survey data, 73% of US adults are concerned about AI-generated deepfake robocalls that mimic the voice of a loved one to try and scam them out of money and 51% have received or know of someone who has received an AI-generated deepfake robocall.

The FCC ruling to ban robocalls using AI will hopefully help prevent some of these situations from happening, but bad actors may still ignore the ruling. If you receive a suspicious call from someone you know, contact them directly to verify if the call is real. If you believe you have received or been the victim of an AI robocall scam, you can report it to the FCC .

In 2023, ۶Ƶ announced the launch of AI Labs. The initiative will help ۶Ƶ’ carrier and enterprise customers tap into the full potential of advanced artificial intelligence technologies to help restore trust in communications, better analyze call traffic activity through voice biometrics and protect consumers from the growing use of nefarious AI voice cloning robocalls by bad actors.

It is best practice to never engage with unknown numbers and report phone numbers being used by scammers to your carrier. If you believe you are the victim of a scam, you can report it to your local police, state attorney’s general office and the .

Call-blocking apps, including those powered by ۶Ƶ Call Guardian®, are also a great resource for reporting and blocking unwanted robocalls. Stay vigilant and share information about scams with others.

Call Guardian is a registered trademark of Transaction Network Services, Inc.

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Unwanted Calls Nationwide Snapshot

 

 

 

۶Ƶ estimates that more than 58 billion unwanted calls were made in the last 12 months representing a 13% decrease over the last 12 months versus the previous 12 months.  Unwanted calls increased 8% from March to April at 4.6B.  This represents a 12% decrease from April 2023 to April 2024.

Unwanted calls are comprised of nuisance calls and high-risk calls. The severity of harm of nuisance calls are moderate. The severity of harm for high-risk calls is deemed as a major invasion of privacy that can cause emotional distress.

۶Ƶ Heatmap of Originating Unwanted Calls

Top 10 Area Codes for Generating Unwanted Calls – April 2024

Top 10 Area Codes for Generating Unwanted Calls – March 2024

Top 10 Area Codes for Generating Unwanted Calls – April 2023

Rank

NPA

Area

Total

1

336

NC

16,317,867

2

704

NC

13,934,735

3

919

NC

13,909,319

4

910

NC

12,863,058

5

706

GA

11,579,069

6

407

FL

10,987,566

7

513

OH

10,353,251

8

843

SC

10,179,093

9

330

OH

10,144,927

10

813

FL

 9,969,098

Rank

NPA

Area

Total

1

336

NC

14,920,406

2

704

NC

13,678,190

3

919

NC

13,649,110

4

910

NC

12,287,698

5

706

GA

11,700,871

6

614

OH

10,761,402

7

407

FL

10,477,227

8

330

OH

10,462,660

9

843

SC

10,278,407

10

803

SC

10,243,705

Rank

NPA

Area

Total

1

602

AZ

4,648,757

2

480

AZ

3,740,351

3

803

SC

3,646,433

4

209

CA

3,545,955

5

520

AZ

3,251,847

6

720

CO

3,164,545

7

239

FL

3,017,558

8

336

NC

2,992,209

9

470

GA

2,947,767

10

813

FL

2,909,656

۶Ƶ Unwanted Call Indices

 

۶Ƶ Calling Trust Index – Last 12 Months

۶Ƶ Complaint Index – Last 12 Months

The ۶Ƶ Calling Trust Index is a measure of the crowd-source feedback for the unwanted calls that ۶Ƶ receives in relation to the total number of calls to a subscriber. The index gives an indication of the consumer trust in voice calling and pulls data from our robocall protection platform ۶Ƶ Call Guardian®.

The ۶Ƶ Complaint Index is a measure of the FCC complaints for the Do-Not-Call List in relation to the total number of unwanted calls seen by ۶Ƶ. The index gives an indication to how many consumers are reporting complaints to the FCC relative to the number of unwanted robocalls they receive.

Take Action for Robocall Protection, go to: ReportARobocall.com

۶Ƶ Call Guardian uses real-time call events combined with crowd-sourced data to create accurate and comprehensive reputation profiles differentiating legitimate users from abusive, fraudulent and unlawful ones. Reporting robocall incidents adds important data making our solutions more robust.

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