The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has many positive benefits, but it’s also a danger when the technology falls into the hands of scammers.
There are already signs of this becoming an issue, with around one in six (16%) young adults aged 18 to 34 claiming they’ve been targeted via AI scams, according to financial services provider Canada Life.
Scammers can create highly convincing deepfake videos, falsely depicting people endorsing schemes, to manipulate others into handing over money.
There are also concerns around the ability of AI to imitate a voice, which could then be used fraudulently.
Or perhaps it could be used to make scammers’ phishing communications even more sophisticated and harder to spot, with technology being able to strip out the errors with spelling and grammar that have often been the warning signs of a scam.
Canada Life found that the average amount 18 to 34-year-olds lost as a result of financial scams of any kind was £4,625 per person.
Nearly a fifth (18%) of 18 to 34-year-olds who had experienced a scam attempt say they fell for the fraud.
Although emails, texts and cold calling are often the preferred methods of contact by these criminals to target this age group, social media platforms are becoming increasingly popular too.
The top three types of fraud targeting 18 to 34-year-olds were found to be phishing, vishing and smishing scams (where scammers try to trick people by email, over the phone or by text message); followed by tax, debt collection and refund scams; and advance fee scams, where people pay for goods and services that don’t arrive, according to the research among 2,000 people across the UK by Opinium in July.
Julia Peake, a tax and estate planning specialist at Canada Life says: “Unfortunately, anyone can become a victim, so it’s important that whatever age you are, you remain vigilant.
“Scams also come in all shapes and sizes and with the advent of AI, they are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and targeted. If you’re not sure whether something is legitimate, hang up, delete, or ignore.”
She also cautions against “get rich quick” schemes on social media, adding: “If it seems too good to be true, then it usually is.
“While it might be tempting to think you have a deal, take a beat and think through what they are asking for? what are you getting? It could be much more trouble than you are expecting.”
Anyone who believes they may have been scammed should contact their bank immediately, as well as informing the police.