Held For Ransom By AI: 5 New Scams To Watch Out For

Cyber fraudsters have a new partner in crime who can pull off scam after scam and never get tired. In 2023, if you’re scammed online, chances are it was by AI. When AI approaches you, it sounds more sincere than your partner and more formal than your manager. With no morals, it’s the perfect soldier. AI has truly become a Swiss army knife for scammers — just point it in a direction you need and watch it do its magic. Today we’re going to uncover 5 new scam methods using this technology. Join us as we explore the eerie world of AI-aided scams.

Held For Ransom By AI  5 New Scams To Watch Out For

The 5 newest AI scams you should watch out for

Scam #1: AI voice-cloning scam

You've been living under a rock for months if you haven’t heard of this nasty guy.

With a few recorded sentences, an AI can mock your voice.

Scary, huh?

Demanding ransoms for fake kidnappings has never been easier.

That’s exactly what happened in April when Mrs. DeStefano received a $1 million ransom request for the fake kidnapping of her daughter.

DeStefano claims that she didn’t doubt the voice was her daughter’s for a moment.

Luckily, her daughter was safe the whole time. Scams like this show that criminals will tailor scams to individuals. Perhaps consider choosing a “safe word” or a strategy to verify it’s a real person talking to you with your family and friends.

Scam #2: Phishing emails

Chatbots like ChatGPT-3 have proven to be multipurpose tools.

Google even found that ChatGPT would be hired as an L3 software engineer.

Unsurprisingly then, AIs have excelled at producing convincing phishing emails. Chatbots easily create what scam artists struggle to produce: legitimacy.

With the right prompts, chatbots can sound more professional, credible, and convincing than you when at the job interview.

CEO fraud is becoming common too, where the AI poses as a CEO asking for money and login data.

Before handing over data, funds, or anything similar, double-check with all parties involved.

Did your boss really send that email?

Scam #3: Deepfake video scams

You’ve seen them by now — deepfakes are the terrifying reality for the future of AI.

“Deepfake” is the term used to describe a video that has been digitally altered by AI to show a false face, body, or voice.

This face can be of Angelina Jolie, Donald Trump, or even you.

Deepfakes are developing so quickly that fake videos are almost impossible to point out.

As with voice-cloning, immediately contact your family and friends if you receive a fishy video starring someone you know.

Scam #4: Chatbot catfishing

As proficient as chatbots are in corporate scams, they’re equally skilled at being casual and friendly.

So skilled, in fact, that dating app users are employing AI to flirt instead of them online.

This is great news for the socially inept of us, but it poses a risk to others, and that is already causing problems.

These chatbots are so good at sounding human. Scammers are able to catfish lonely people.

If you’ve been asked for money or login data from anyone online: make sure it’s someone you know, trust, and, most importantly, have met in person.

Scam #5: Pig butchering scam

The only pig harmed during this scam is your piggy bank.

“Pig butchering” is a gross term for a gross crime in which one party provides false investment information to another.

Criminals may call or text you with some “insider” tips, accompanied by fake profit reports, etc.

Some victims have even been referred to entirely falsified investment apps and websites. Just remember, before you invest in any stock or app, do your research.

Chances are, you’re not the first person to be scammed.

Are you safe from AI scams?

Anyone who uses the web is at risk of the new cyber threats that AI poses.

However, everyone can be safe from these scams. Awareness is the first step; next is safeguarding:

  • Should you invest in an AI detector for emails, messages, etc.?
  • Are you aware of all risks posed by AI?
  • Are your browsing and location private?

For starters, ensure your personal data is secure with a VPN trial. Keeping your location and private information safe is key to cyber safety.


New waves of cybercrime are looking formidable with the addition of cutting-edge AI tools.

However, there’s no need to worry — we aren’t living in a dystopian future just yet.

Now that you know how the technology is being used by criminals, you can avoid falling victim to AI scams.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • Identitytheft.gov: If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at www.identitytheft.gov. This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

Held For Ransom By AI: 5 New Scams To Watch Out For