Here’s what the FBI Phoenix office wants you to know about AI ‘voice cloning’ scams

Apr 20, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: 9:37 am

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — People are finding new and innovative ways to use the increasingly popular artificial intelligence technology, but not all of those ways are for the greater good.

Dan Mayo, assistant special agent in charge with the FBI Phoenix, told KTAR News 92.3 FM “voice cloning” has become a big concern and is becoming more prevalent every day.

“A lot of criminals are using a lot of connectivity out there on social media—people that have a lot of stuff that’s publicly available, especially if they’ve got recordings of videos to target individuals for ransom,” Mayo said.

He also added that criminals will use social media videos to obtain voice samples and then use AI to replicate those voices to convince people they’re loved ones are in danger. “If they’ve got voice samples, they sound exactly like it could be your child,” he said.

It’s not just the voice information that can make a ransom call realistic. Mayo said criminals will use any public information to make a convincing story.

“Say I had a public facing social media profile with a lot of demographic data, pictures of what I’ve been doing, places that I frequent — a criminal’s going to be able to take advantage of that and make a very, very realistic scenario,” Mayo added.

He said it’s important for people to keep themselves and their family members safe and to be careful about what is posted online and how accessible a profile is, as most scammers won’t take the time to try to scam someone with a private account.

It’s also important for families to know where each other are and have quick easy ways to contact them to verify they’re safe, he said.

“They (criminals) make it sound like you have no time to confirm anything … you need to slow down, assess the situation and figure out where your significant other is or your child, because if you don’t have that information these individuals are going to take advantage,” Mayo said.

Anyone who thinks they are a victim of voice cloning can report it to the FBI.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News


Balin Overstolz

New ASU school moves forward state school’s effort to improve health outcomes

A new ASU medical school created is one step in a state-wide effort to upgrade health care access and quality.

6 hours ago

(Photo by Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images)...

Arizona schools chief Horne says growth of school voucher program beneficial to state

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said Thursday he believes the state will be able to handle a continued growth in the state's school voucher program that critics say is leading to excessive spending and benefitting the wealthy.

6 hours ago

(Flickr Photo/ADOT)...

Several freeway closures, including for Broadway Curve project, to slow weekend Valley drivers

Drivers in the Valley are going to have to maneuver around several weekend freeway closures, including one for the ongoing Broadway Curve project.

6 hours ago

(Getty Images, Phoenix Fan Fusion)...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around metro Phoenix for June 2-4

There's plenty of things to do around the Valley this weekend, such as Phoenix Fan Fusion, baseball games and musical performances.

6 hours ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Associated Press

Oath Keeper from Arizona sentenced for role in Jan. 6 riot at US Capitol

Edward Vallejo, a U.S. Army veteran from Phoenix, oversaw a “Quick Reaction Force” at a Virginia hotel that was prepared to deploy an arsenal of weapons into Washington if needed, authorities say.

1 day ago

FILE - Water from the Colorado River diverted through the Central Arizona Project fills an irrigati...

Brandon Gray

Governor Hobbs unveils groundwater model, announces $40M investment in water conservation

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs unveiled a groundwater model and the Arizona Department of Water Resources' latest study the state's conditions.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.

Here’s what the FBI Phoenix office wants you to know about AI ‘voice cloning’ scams