AI Scam

Just wanted to share what happened to me.  
I take care of my 87 year old mom.  
I came home and she was holding her credit cards. She got a phone call from someone saying he was a lawyer and that I was in an accident with my wife (he said her name) who was in the hospital and I was being charged with vehicular manslaughter and he needed $7000.00. to get me out.  He put me (my voice) on the phone and told my mom what happened. She was convinced it was me in trouble and was trying to get the guy the money. 
Thank God I came in when I did before he drained her bank account.

Beware of AI
They must have gotten my voice off my phone recorded message is all I can figure,  so if you have an outgoing message change it to robotic.

Figuring out how to do something you have never done is what makes a good challenge.

35 Replies

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I changed my outgoing message to the default robo voice a while ago for a number of reasons, this is not one I suspected though.  If I'm doing real work, I need a full functioning laptop, if I'm just poking around on the internet, looking for something on CL/marketplace or found a way too goo deal on some new tools (like 95%+ off), those are the kinds of sites I'll visit on a Chromebook that (for me at least) seems far more resistant to a virus.  Scam emails are so transparent, it's like the bots aren't programmed with any creativity anymore.  Calls, not something I have to worry about too much anymore.  I do worry about my parents in their early 70's, especially with scam emails they can't readily see as such.
Despicable people .... you can only hope that what goes around really does come around. Thanks for the warning.

Doing the best I can with what I've got

pandoras box has been opened and AI is not going away. beware !

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

I never changed the standard greeting.  I guess being lazy has its benefits.

Glad you got there in time.  This is the future I'm afraid.  

Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

 Heck it is not just old people that fall for phone scams.  The dumbass husband of a friend got in his car to go get Target gift cards and gave his scammers $2500 worth before his wife stopped him.  

I rarely answer my home phone anymore because of all of the spam and scam callers  but sometimes just for sport, I answer using my decrepit old man voice just to see how long I can waste their time.  Lots of not understanding or hear.  It is really fun to "mishear" things (think violins on TV) and go off on a tangent and keep talking over them as they try to steer me back on track.  I've even given a couple made up credit card numbers.  When they say the number is not valid, I just tell them I have not used it in a while.  It usually ends when I can't stand it any longer and start laughing.  When they cuss me out I thank them for making my day.   

I was thinking just yesterday that I should change the voice message on the machine to simply say "hello" in my old man voice and then pause for a few seconds before letting the answering machine take the message. 

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

the home phone we have now wont let a call go through unless they enter a number the message tells them. so robo calls never get through. people we have in our system go right through. its cut the number of spam calls by 95% at least.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

This is so sad (and scary at the same time).  I feel so bad for your mom.  Such a cruel scam.  Did you report this?  (And as I write that, I ask myself, to whom would it be reported??)  Our local news often does spots on scams.  This is definitely a new level of sophistication with the reproduction of your voice. 
I use nomorobo to cut down on robo and scam calls.   Nomorobo is free on land lines as long as you have digital phone service but they charge for mobile lines.   It prevents most of them but my stupid phone company (Frontier) screws it up every now and then and I have to go back in and re-enable when they do.  I contacted them a few days ago and it would not work and the person on the phone could not get it to work either so I am waiting from them to fix their problem.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

We have a variation of that going on here.  They use real names of you your relatives AND the names of upper management of the Sheriffs Office.  They ask for Gift Cards for a similar reason and then have you send it to an address in another State, then as a kicker set up an appointment at the Sheriffs Office with a Colonel or Major that really works there to discuss getting the charges dropped.  The appointments are always the same time, so there is a line of older folks that show up to talk to this person.  Often times they have to take a cab to get there.   The SO explains to them what has happened, most times tears are involved, gives them a card of that person they were directed to talk to with instructions to call them if they ever get another call, before they pay them anything.  Then they call a car in to take them home.  

These people are scum that do that, and Bent, I am sorry that happened to your just want to find these guys and pummel them.  The scams are as old as telephones themselves....I dealt with them constantly in the little town I worked in.


It was bad enough they used to use your name now they get your voice. For you owning a business it's hard to avoid having your voice out there. I never had my own voice for my voicemail. AI has more bad intent than good.
Not sure that this is really AI.  Just really sophisticated social engineering.   The scam above sounds like a variation of the granny scam often used on Facebook.   In that one, they clone your FB account and send out friend requests to all of the people in your friends list.  When the find grandma or some other elderly relative, they contact them pretending to be a grandson or other relative saying that their car broke down, they are at the emergency room or got arrested and need money for repairs, admission or bail.  I've had my FB account cloned a couple of times.  If you see a friend request from someone you know you are already friends with, it is likely what is going on.  You can flag the account as bogus

    Another trick that I read about is that someone will call your phone and ask you a few questions.  They are looking for key words that they can use in various scams.  Never answer questions from someone you do not know and by all means avoid saying the word "yes".  One scam I read about uses a recording of your voice saying "yes" to get approval for various things over the phone.   

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

What ever program they used it just sucks that they prey on old people. 
Lowlife scumbags.

Figuring out how to do something you have never done is what makes a good challenge.

A sad tale to be sure, but one that is repeated countless times every stinking day, by asshats who brag about not working, and work is for suckers and such $h!. Instead they prey on peoples good will.

I say any time you get out cash, or a credit card take just a second to run exactly what is happening through your mind, doing so will often set off a flare to beware.

Any time ANYONE calls you, you never called them, and asks for $$$$$$ or personal info, A big freaking light and a siren should go off in your head screaming SCAM. I suppose there are rare instances when it is legit, but stopping forward progress of what is happening won't spoil a legit, it will only delay it, till a time they better reach out to you. But for all the rest, they are just Aholes looking to rob you. All of them should be shot on sight. Honest companies will not ask for personal info, and if they do need it to determine you are actually you, there are safer ways they can approach you rather than a cold call, where you don't know if it is who they say they are...

I think Hospitals and medical institutions are the worst in this, and they blame it on HIPPA, which should be drastically modified. Also generally a larger part senior population, and often they don't know, but just immediately accept it is the Hospital calling, so it's OK to start rattling off personal info. Say, I don't know you, you'll need to do a better job of making me believe this is legit, and you are actually someone from the hospital. You should be able to call the hospitals real number, and track down whoever they say they are, if you can't you defeated the scum. At least in that round, but it's a daily occurrence, never ending.

Be ALERT America needs more lerts. 
That is so bad!

Thanks for the heads up.


Thank you for sharing this so we can be aware of how sophisticated these scams have gotten.  We, too, rarely answer our phone.  If someone actually needs to talk with us, he can leave a message.  Most caller IDs have been spoofed in an attempt to get someone to answer.  These scammers use the same tactic as high-pressure salespeople:  forced quick decisions without taking time for research.   
In these last days, evil increases just as Scripture says.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

 What ever program they used it just sucks that they prey on old people. 
Lowlife scumbags. 
You said a mouthful...these people  are a waste of skin....

In my last few years on patrol I took three or four reports where somebody had gotten the peoples SSN and filed for a tax refund in their name.  That was a mess.....just straightening it out with the IRS was a huge task.  The refunds were always thousands.....the IRS was going to charge them interest on the money that was scammed.  We finally got ahold of the congressman at the time and it was forgiven, but it was a six month task to fix it....we spent hours and hours on the phone, and that was only a small portion of what the family did....


George,  In my opinion HIPPA is one of the worst things to ever be passed.  My direct Supervisor at the SO where I worked part time, was the guy who issued the weapons permits.....if a subject has had mental issues, it is hidden from us unless it is part of a crime.  When something happens the Media loves to taunt us, saying this person was a known person with issues.  Unless we went on a call there and then only if they were charged with something, we, by Iowa Law, could not take away his permits, let alone his guns.  


Looking for the silver lining... At least your mom was holding credit cards instead of reading the account number off a blank check.  If they had taken money from credit cards, you have recourse through the card issuer to dispute the charge.  If they got her to transfer it out of her bank account, it's gone forever.  I know from personal experience that elderly people like to use cash and checks.  It's a good idea to try to get them used to paying everything with a credit card and then writing one check a month to pay the credit card off.  With the way such fraud is getting prevalent, I don't expect that credit card issuers will be able to remove disputed charges as readily as they do now in the future, but for the time being at least, it's the safest way to go.  

In any case, I'm glad you showed up in time to avert crisis.