October is the season for spookiness, but none of Halloween’s haunts can hold a candle to the frightening reality of the latest AI senior scams. Older adults have long been the target of scammers, who prey on their perceived loneliness and vulnerability. Yet technology is taking their efforts to a completely new level, making it hard for even the savviest individual to recognize their deception.
The Grandparent Scam, AI Style
The grandparent scam has been around for decades. An older adult would receive a call from someone claiming to be a family member demanding immediate financial help for a crisis they were facing. The voice, manner of speaking, and phone number could often give away the caller’s malintent.
Enter AI. Scammers are now able to utilize technology to clone a person’s voice, using just a few seconds of audio pulled from social media such as TikTok or YouTube. The cloning software allows the individual to type whatever text they want the voice to say, and the outcome is a stunningly accurate replica of the person’s actual voice.
To further compound the difficulty with detecting the scam, calls can now appear to come from any number the scammer selects.
So a grandparent answers the telephone, recognizes the phone number as that of his granddaughter, and hears her frantic voice urgently requesting money to help her in an emergency. How should such a scenario be handled?
Tips to Thwart AI Senior Scams
Following these steps will help protect the older adults you love from AI scams:
- Talk about it. Explain the details surrounding the newest AI scams to your older family members so they are aware of what to anticipate. Make certain everyone understands that just because caller ID shows a familiar phone number, it does not mean the call is really from that number. This applies to businesses as well as personal contacts.
- Agree on a family password. Come up with a word that everyone in your family can very quickly remember, but which would be difficult for someone outside of your circle to guess. If a person calls claiming to be a family member in crisis, ask for the secret code word.
- Call back. In a real emergency, a family member might not recall the code word. As another method to confirm the caller’s identity, always hang up the phone and call the person right back.
- Be careful about clicking. Scammers could also send an email that appears to be from a genuine source, such as a retail business or bank the person uses frequently. These emails can be extremely difficult to distinguish from authentic emails from a business. A good practice is to never click on an emailed link, but to go straight to an organization’s website through a browser.
Immediately Report All Scams
Live Free Home Health Care Is Here to Keep Older Adults Safe From Scams
Home care is a fantastic way to add an extra level of safety and protection for older adults. Our caregivers provide the companionship needed to guard against isolation and loneliness—key elements scammers are seeking in their targets.
Give us a call at 603-217-0149 or contact us online for more information on the many ways our in-home care in Concord, Epsom, New Hampton, and the surrounding areas can help a person you love stay safe while living life to the fullest.