Attack of the voice clones

September 4, 2019

I read an article yesterday that made me question the authenticity of my past phone calls.

Apparently, there’s a new trick in the fraudster’s book – using AI voice cloning technology to trick employees into thinking they are speaking to their boss, and having them “urgently” transfer funds to their accounts.

The CEO of a UK company was recently fooled by one of these fraudulent acts, and although they tracked the money to various bank accounts, they have yet to identify any suspects.

It’s something we didn’t think about when Google announced the launch of its AI System for making phone calls, Google Duplex, in May last year. We never thought about how scammers could use similar technology in combination with voice-cloning systems to rob us.

For me, it highlights the importance of agreeing a code word or phrase with your family and friends – anyone who you would share personal information with over the phone – so they can check it is you when they are unsure. Because it’s not only money that these scammers are after – it’s your data too. And, in this day and age, there’s nothing more precious than your personal data.