Recently, a new type of telephone fraud targeting overseas Chinese students has attracted attention. The authorities confirmed that a Chinese student who was suspected of being kidnapped was actually a victim of "virtual kidnapping" fraud.
The fraudsters posed as officials from the public security, procuratorate, embassy, or customs, and used fake warrants and arrest warrants to intimidate the victims, claiming that they were suspected of committing a crime. They used call-spoofing software to deceive the victims, gain their trust, and ask them to cut off contact with the outside world and download designated software to cooperate with the investigation. Once the victim was out of contact, the fraudsters contacted the victim's parents as kidnappers and demanded a large ransom. Since the parents could not confirm the child's true condition, they were often easily fooled.
Many people may be confident that they can calmly deal with such scams, but it is challenging to stay calm when they really receive such a call.
First, telephone fraud works by increasing the victim's emotional tension to make them react irrationally. Fraudsters know that people often lose their minds in emergencies, so they use various high-pressure tactics to increase the victim's panic, making it difficult for the victim to calmly analyze the situation, making it easier to fall victim to the scam.
Second, fraudsters use personal information to increase the credibility of the scam. In today's highly developed social media era, people's personal information is often easily leaked. Fraudsters can find enough information to construct a seemingly realistic kidnapping scenario by searching on social media. They may mention the victim's home address, family members' work units, and other private information in the call, making the victim think it is true.
Finally, fraudsters will deliberately keep in touch with the victim, making it easier for the victim to fall into the trap of the fraudsters and unable to extricate themselves.
Fraudsters use a variety of tactics to implement their scams, including increasing emotional tension, using personal information, targeting specific groups, and deliberately keeping the victim in touch.
AI: Giving telephone fraud a boost
Artificial intelligence (AI) has gradually penetrated into all aspects of people's lives, bringing people many conveniences. However, unfortunately, this technology has also been exploited by criminals and has become a new weapon for scammers, making scams more sophisticated.
Traditional anti-fraud awareness is no longer enough to deal with this new threat. AI technology allows scammers to easily imitate familiar voices, making scams more difficult to identify. With just 30 seconds to 1 minute of samples, scammers can create highly realistic voice clones.
Here are some of the ways that AI is being used to make telephone fraud more difficult to detect:
Caller ID spoofing: Scammers use AI technology to spoof the caller ID, making it look like the call is coming from a familiar or trusted number. This caller ID spoofing greatly increases the likelihood that the victim will answer the call, giving scammers more opportunities to implement their virtual kidnapping schemes. Voice cloning: Using AI technology, scammers can imitate the voices of others. They need only obtain a few seconds of audio of someone's voice to create a highly realistic audio clip using AI software. These audio clips not only imitate the voice, but they can also imitate the tone, accent, and speaking style, making it difficult for victims to tell the difference between real and fake. Personal information: To further increase the credibility of their calls, scammers will also provide important details about the victim or their contacts during the call. This information is often obtained from social media, such as travel plans, job changes, etc. Scammers use this information to weave a seemingly realistic story that will scare the victim and force them to pay money. Video creation: AI technology can also create realistic videos, making it easier for scammers to manipulate victims' emotions and make the scam seem more real and believable. According to anti-fraud experts from the Dingxiang Defense Cloud Business Security Intelligence Center, scammers often extract voice samples from video clips on social media and then use these samples to create voice clones, and they do not need long recordings.
Prevention: How can we prevent telephone fraud?
By understanding and identifying the characteristics and methods of this fraud, and taking effective prevention and response measures, people can better protect themselves from it. It is important to remember that staying calm and vigilant in the face of suspicious situations is essential. At the same time, timely reporting to the police and cooperating with the police is the key to combating this criminal behavior. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself from telephone fraud:
Set a special "safe word." If you receive a suspicious call, ask the caller to provide this "safe word." If the caller is unable to provide it or avoids it, you can immediately identify the false scam call and avoid falling into panic. Seek help from people around you. When you receive a suspicious call, if you have other people around you, you can ask them to call or text to confirm your safety. This method can quickly expose the scammer's lies and protect your property. Hang up and redial the phone. When you receive a suspicious kidnapping call, you can act like you have poor signal and then hang up the phone and immediately call the number of the person being impersonated for confirmation. It is important to note that scammers may use technical means to spoof caller ID, so you cannot easily believe the authenticity of the call based on caller ID. Be careful about what you share on social media. Today, social media has become an indispensable part of people's daily lives. Avoid sharing sensitive information on social media, which can become a warehouse for scammers to obtain scam materials. Every post and photo people share on social media can be clues for scammers. Scammers will use this information to build a more realistic scam, describing the victim's appearance, interests, and lifestyle, thereby increasing its credibility. In the face of telephone fraud impersonating familiar people, it is necessary to be vigilant and take effective preventive measures. By setting a special code word, seeking help from people around you, hanging up and redialing the phone, and being careful about what you share on social media, you can effectively identify and prevent telephone fraud impersonating familiar people, ensuring that people's property and personal safety are not violated.