Wednesday, June 10, 2020

How to spot a robocall scam

You’ve probably gotten at least a few scam calls this week, so you know the type. An unknown number appears on your phone, that’s suspiciously similar to your own. If you took a chance and answered the call just in case, you’d probably receive an automated message alerting you to an unknown charge on a card, or that you’re the winner of a contest you never entered. The prerecorded voice and preposterous claims make these robocall scams relatively easy to spot.  Right now, they’re not too hard to identify.

Just as VoIP calling and autodialers advanced the scam call industry in the last decade, AI and deep learning might be about to take robocalls to the next level. That’s because deep learning technology can be used to fake someone in your life’s voice with as little as 5 seconds of audio. This means you may someday get a call from your boss, who sounds just like your boss, but is actually a scammer. A robocall that is able to replicate a convincing voice is much, much harder to spot and put a stop to. 

Though there are solutions on the horizon that could put a stop to caller ID spoofing, it’s still important to educate yourself today on the ways to spot and prevent a robocall scam. Always double check the numbers and email addresses contacting you, and know that any major governmental agency isn’t going to call you for money or threaten legal action as a first step. If you’re ever unsure, it doesn’t hurt to double check.  In addition, make it a rule never to give out bank account, credit card, or social security information over the phone, or to someone via email. 

For more on how robocall scams work, and emerging technologies to look out for, check out this visual by Mint

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