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'Is that you?': Voice cloning makes it sound like your loved one is really on the phone & in trouble

The voice IS really your loved one, but they're not in trouble.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — “As soon as the call came in, I heard our daughter on the phone. It was unmistakably her,” said Robert.

But what this father really heard was not his daughter, but a caller using Artificial Intelligence. It was actually her voice, even though she was never on the phone.

“This is a new scam that's out. This is going to be affecting other people if they're not familiar with this Artificial Intelligence. That people can take a loved one's voice and create it into something that it's not,” said a Pierce County Deputy.

Voice cloning. It's creepy. Scammers find an audio clip of someone's voice online, from an Instagram, TikTok Facebook, or YouTube post. Then they use it to fake you out in the hopes of getting money.

“I was getting into my car to go to the bank and pull out cash,” said Robert’s wife Heidi.

The way the scam works, either your loved one asks for money or someone else who claims they're with your loved one demands money. It could be cash, wire transfer, or gift cards.

No matter what they ask for, no matter how convincing it sounds, take a minute to figure out if it's really true.

Here are two things you can do:

#1 While you're on the phone with "the caller" text or call your loved one to verify they're ok. Even if “the caller” seems to be calling from your loved one’s phone. Numbers are easily spoofed.

#2 Have a code word or sentence or ask a question only the loved one would know. Here's my advice-- think about it now, when you're level-headed, not when there's an issue.

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