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The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about scammers utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to clone individuals’ voices, leading to distressing situations across the country.

Austin Westfall of FOX 5 News reports live from Charlotte, North Carolina, where he spoke with a victim of one of these voice cloning scams.

The scam typically involves criminals contacting victims, pretending to be a relative in need of money.

They often fabricate scenarios such as being in a car accident or being kidnapped and in need of ransom.

Experts emphasize that these scams are not only disturbing but also highly effective.

Scott Herman, the founder of a financial and identity protection company called IDIQ, describes voice cloning as the scariest thing he has ever seen.

Criminals only require a short audio clip, as short as 22 seconds, which they can easily obtain from social media platforms.

With this clip, they can create a voice so convincing that even a mother cannot distinguish it from her own child.

Jerry Scali, who received a call from his grandson Noah, shares his experience.

Noah claimed to have been in a car accident and had a broken nose, but something about the voice seemed off to Scali.

The person on the call spoke slower than his grandson, prompting him to hang up and avoid falling victim to the scam.

As it turned out, his grandson was perfectly fine at school.

According to IDIQ, these scams are the work of sophisticated groups often operating from overseas office buildings.

Voice cloning scams are relatively new, with reports of such incidents surfacing only within the past year.

Unfortunately, the number of victims is increasing as these scams prove to be effective.

The Federal Trade Commission offers some tips to protect against these scams.

If contacted by a loved one asking for money, it is advisable to call them back using a number you know to be theirs.

If they do not respond to your call, reach out to another family member or verify their situation through alternative means.

Voice cloning scams serve as a reminder of the ever-evolving tactics employed by scammers.

Remaining vigilant and verifying the authenticity of such requests can help prevent falling victim to these distressing and deceptive schemes.

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