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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

AI Technology Scammer Called a Mother Using Her Daughter's Cloned Voice for Kidnapping/Money Scam

Brie and Jennifer DeStefano/Facebook

Artificial intelligence is taking over the world. The powers of AI have given scammers a more advanced means to scam people over the phone. Jennifer DeStefano of Scottsdale, Arizona, was contacted by a hacker who copied her daughter Brie's voice, pretending to be a kidnapper and demanding $1 million in ransom. Jennifer shared with Arizona's Family that she was terrified when she answered her phone and heard her daughter say, "Mom, I messed up." Then a male said, "Put your head back. Lie down," and I'm like, 'Wait, what is going on?'" DeStefano said. "This man gets on the phone, and he's like, "Listen here. I've got your daughter. This is how it's going to go down. You call the police; you call anybody, I'm going to pop her so full of drugs. I'm going to have my way with her, and I'm going to drop her off in Mexico." And at that moment, I just started shaking. In the background, she's going, "Help me, Mom. Please help me. Help me, and bawling."

Jennifer was convinced she heard her daughter's voice. Although petrified with fear, her instincts told her to call Brie's cell phone before agreeing to pay the ransom. When Brie answered the phone, her mom discovered she was safe and was on a ski trip with her brother. Although relieved that it was a scam and she was not being harmed, Jennifer and Brie are unclear about how the scammers obtained a copy of her voice. Voice cloning is becoming even more common; therefore, experts advise that if you think you've received a scam call from someone pretending to be a relative that's in a crisis and needs money, ask them questions about things to which you know they'll have the answers to, and wait for their responses. Advancements in technology provide great conveniences for everyday life, but they offer more opportunities for crime and fraud. Please stay aware!

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