Virtual Kidnapping The Rise of Deepfakes


One Woman Almost Falls Victim to A New AI Scam

Virtual Kidnapping The Rise of DeepFakes
The Rise of DeepFakes

Artificial Intelligence is growing at an alarmingly fast rate. In some aspects it is improve our day to day lives, but in others way it is giving scammers a more advance tool kit to exploit people. This is through the use of deepfakes.

Today, we will be talking about on a new and terrifying wave of scammers who are using AI to prey on parents worst fears – kidnapping calls. We know this can sound terrifying nut rest assured we’ve got your back with some tips on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from these malicious scammers.

Scammers Are Preying on Parents

A Mom from Arizona almost became a victim of this advanced scam. Jennifer DeStefano received a call from an unknown number in March 2023. The voice on the other end claimed to be her 15-year-old daughter, Briana, crying and saying, “Mom, I’ve messed up.” The nightmare escalated as a man took over the phone, threatening to harm Briana unless DeStefano paid $1 million in ransom.

In a state of panic, DeStefano sought help from other parents at a dance studio where her younger daughter, Aubrey, was having a class. Some quick-thinking parents called 911 and discovered that the call was a horrifying hoax using AI to mimic Briana’s voice. DeStefano’s husband confirmed that Briana was safe and unaware of the scam.

This type of scam is known as “virtual kidnapping,” and it has been on the increase according to the FBI. The scammers use social media and other sources to gather personal details about their victims. Think of names, locations, hobbies, and family members. They then use AI software to create chillingly realistic voice clones of their victims or relatives. This is why we tell all our followers to stop sharing so much online!

How To Avoid Virtual Kidnapping Scams
Don’t fall victim to these types of scams

How To Avoid Virtual Kidnapping Scams

But fret not, we’ve got some advice to help you stay one step ahead of these heartless scammers:

  • If you receive a call claiming your child or relative is kidnapped, ask questions verify the call.
  • Try to contact your child or relative directly or through another trusted person to confirm their safety.
  • Never share personal or financial information with the caller, and don’t send any money.
  • Report the incident to your local law enforcement agency or the FBI.
  • Teach your kids about online safety and privacy settings on social media platforms.

So What Are The Experts Doing About It?

There is no doubt that AI technology has incredible potential, but now, more than ever we need to all be aware that it comes with both legal and ethical challenges that need to be addressed. We must be vigilant against its misuse by criminals. The Senate Judiciary Committee is on the case, exploring ways to prevent AI scams and protect the public. It’s worth to note that AI has been tricking us for years, it’s just now scammers are using it too.

Some solutions AI experts have come up with are: creating a national registry of voice samples for verification, developing guidelines for the ethical use of AI, enhancing cooperation among law enforcement and tech companies, and raising awareness about the risks of AI scams and how to avoid them.

The committee aims to draft legislation that will safeguard us all from AI scammers. Senator Lindsey Graham, the chairman, says, “We have a responsibility to ensure that AI is used for good, not evil. We cannot allow these criminals to exploit our fears and vulnerabilities with this technology.”

Scammers Are Preying on Parents


Scammers have been around since the dawn of time, so all of this is nothing new. It’s just the ways in which they are conning people is improving. It’s become quite a scary world with the introduction of ai.

So, let’s stay informed, alert, and united against these heartless scams. Only together can we protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities from the dark side of AI. Stay safe, everyone!

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