Many entrepreneurs often brush off the threat of cyber-scams with the mindset, “It won’t happen to me.” Yet, in today’s technologically-advanced era, this attitude can be disastrous. It’s crucial for stakeholders, employees, and partners to recognize the looming dangers.
The evolution of Generative AI has empowered fraudsters with the ability to create deepfakes, leading to sophisticated scams. Take, for instance, the episode involving Clive Kabatznik from Florida. Shortly after discussing a significant money transfer with his Bank of America representative, a deceitful individual used a deepfake voice, imitating Clive, to try to deceive the bank into transferring the funds. Fortunately, the representative sensed something amiss.
In a study named “The Artificial Imposter” by cybersecurity giant McAfee, they found that an alarming 77% of AI-generated voice scams were successful. Even more daunting is that AI can replicate a voice with just a mere three seconds of audio. A CEO from a UK-based energy firm fell victim to such a scam, transferring $233,000 under the pretense of communicating with his superior. By the time the fraud was detected, the funds were long gone.
However, it’s not just corporations that are at risk. Everyday individuals can also be targets. Jennifer DeStefano’s harrowing experience is a testament to this. She received a call with the AI-imitated voice of her daughter, claiming she was kidnapped. Fortunately, Jennifer quickly realized the ruse as her daughter was safely at home.
These voice scams are still emerging, and a complete record of their frequency is not available. However, Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO of Pindrop, a firm specializing in audio security, noted a significant increase in these scams. Similarly, Nuance, a voice-authentication provider, reported its first successful deepfake attack on a client recently.
The proliferation of AI tools, combined with countless voice recordings on platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube, has set the stage for an influx of voice impersonation scams.
How Can You Safeguard Yourself and Your Business?
- Raise Awareness: Distribute this information to ensure that everyone in your network, be it your staff or family, is aware of these threats.
- Verification Protocol: Always re-confirm through text or another medium before making financial transactions. Implementing a secret code word or phrase for verification can be useful.
- Caller ID Inspection: Be cautious if the incoming call has an unfamiliar or hidden caller ID. Even if the voice is familiar, it’s prudent to hang up and redial a known number to confirm.
- Question the Urgency: Scammers often create a sense of urgency. If they’re insisting on an immediate wire transfer or cryptocurrency payment, be skeptical.
Concluding, every step upward in your business journey brings new challenges. In this digital age, threats are omnipresent, lurking behind seemingly innocuous interactions. Regardless of the size or prominence of your entity, adopting a proactive approach to cybersecurity is not just advisable—it’s imperative.
If you don’t want this to happen to you, click here to request a free Cyber Security Risk Assessment to see just how protected your organization is against known predators. If you haven’t had an independent third party conduct this audit in the last 6 months, you’re due.
It’s completely free and confidential, without obligation. Voice scams are just the latest in a tsunami of threats aimed at small business owners, with the most susceptible being the ones who never “check the locks” to ensure their current IT company is doing what they should. Claim your complimentary Risk Assessment today.