We all know how low some Michigan criminals will go, but did you know that scammers are now using advanced AI technology to impersonate your loved ones? That's right, voice AI calls are now being used to mimic your kids or grandchildren in trouble, all in an effort to trick you out of your money.


In Michigan, Voice AI is Science Fact

It might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it's true. These scammers are using the latest technology to create convincing voice messages that can make seniors feel like they're speaking with a real family member. The FBI Chicago Office has gone as far as to issue a warning to the Mid-West, as well as the entire country about this growing deep fake audio trend.

How Virtual Kidnapping Scammers Find Their Victims

So how do these AI programs know enough about you and your family to convincingly impersonate a member of your family? Simple: social media. Scammers comb Facebook and the like to find families that are off on international trips. From there the criminals call family in the States, pretending to be grandchildren in distress, or members of a drug cartel holding your entire family hostage for ransom. Realistic screams can be heard in the background as well, making these calls an emotional experience that often wards off rational thinking.

How to Spot a Michigan AI Imposter

Some scams may not be as elaborate as international kidnapping, AI can be used in many ways to milk innocent, well-meaning people out of their money.

Here's how one of these calls may go according to the FTC:

Example of a Family Emergency Scam

Caller: Hi Grandpa, it’s me.

Grandpa: [Name of the grandson]? Is that you?

Caller: Yes, it’s me. [Repeats name Grandpa said.] Grandpa, I’m in trouble, and I need money for bail.

Grandpa: What happened?

Caller: Please don’t tell Mom or Dad. I’ll get in so much trouble.

Grandpa: Where are you?

Caller: Hurry, Grandpa. A lawyer is going to call you. Please help me!

Grandpa then gets a second call from the fake lawyer.

Attorney: This is your grandson’s lawyer. He’s in a lot of trouble. The only way he can get out of jail is if you pay.


So, let's make sure our favorite seniors in Michigan know how to protect themselves from these high-tech scammers. First of all, tell them to never give out personal information over the phone, especially if they can't verify the identity of the caller.

Secondly, advise them to take their time when dealing with any request for money, and to always verify with another family member or trusted authority figure before sending any funds. If the caller is pressuring them to act quickly, they're probably up to no good.

Lastly, remind our seniors to use call-blocking apps or other security measures to protect their phones from these types of scams. It might not stop all the scammers, but it's better than nothing.

Let's not let AI scammers take advantage of our fellow Michiganders. We can make a difference by educating ourselves and taking steps to keep safe. It's not easy to stay ahead of the scammers, but with a little bit of effort, we can keep them from making a fool of our loved ones.

Expert Tips for Avoiding Online Shopping Scams

In order to avoid a scammer getting the better of you, check out the following red flags to look out for as well as preventative measures to take from Dr. Skiba, AKA Dr. Fraud himself:

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