SWLA residents warn of scams using artificial intelligence

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 9:47 PM CDT
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Jeff Davis Parish, LA (KPLC) - Bad actors are using artificial intelligence to synthesize your voice and image, tricking friends and loved ones to actually believe it is actually you – but it’s all a lie, and there are scammers behind it. Their target is usually your money.

It is the latest scam, and victims say it happens in the blink of an eye. Artificial intelligence is used to swindle people out of thousands of dollars.

“So, this AI which I’m sure you’re familiar with, artificial intelligence. It is through the roof, you know, I have received one myself,” said Sgt. Vernon O’Quinn said with the Fenton Police Department.

Sgt. O’Quinn said a week ago he received a video call from his brother-in-law, so he answered.

“My brother-in-law called me through messenger, and it was a video of him, and it actually had him on the video with his voice, but the only thing he would say was, hey I need $250, I’m in a bind, can you please send me the money through CashApp. I am going to send you the link, and then it terminated,” he said.

O’Quinn said when the call ended, he called his brother-in-law immediately to see what was going on. Lo and behold, it was not him who called – it was a scam using artificial intelligence.

“That really has a huge impact on our community, because most of the people here in this area, we live on a fixed income, so whenever we get scammed out of several hundred dollars it’s a huge impact,” he said.

It’s an impact one resident felt when her bank account was wiped out of thousands of dollars through a simple call.

“You know what is unreal, you hear about this, and I was telling my friend that would never happen to me. I would know not to go and get gift cards and then it happens, and you see your account being manipulated right in front of you. I just froze,” she said.

This victim, who wants to remain anonymous, said she opened a new internet account. A few days later, she received a call from someone claiming she did not complete the process, so she agreed to pay $250 over the phone to do that.

But it didn’t end there. Another call came in, and before she knew it, the caller was able to remotely enter her computer at home while she was on it.

“They wanted me to give them more information and I wouldn’t. They said if you don’t do what we tell you then we’re going to drain your account, and they manipulated my account right in front of me,” she said.

And just like that, thousands gone. Another reminder that you can’t be too careful.

O’Quinn warned the public that if you ever get a call or message from someone claiming to be family or a representative from a company you might use, hang up, find a legitimate contact number for them and reach out. And depending on how far the matter goes, you should also reach out to your local police department immediately.