Digital deception is on the rise, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction. With our lives becoming more connected virtually, video calls have become a common way for friends and family to communicate. However, what if these video calls are nothing more than scams?
In July, a man named Radhakrishnan from Kerala fell victim to a scam where he was swindled out of Rs 40,000. He received a video call from an unknown number, and upon answering, he noticed that the person on the call resembled one of his former colleagues. A few minutes into the call, the person asked him for money for a medical emergency. Only after transferring the amount did Radhakrishnan realize that he had been scammed by artificial intelligence (AI).
A similar incident occurred in China, where a deepfake scam led a victim to believe that he was sending 4.3 million yuan (over Rs 5 million) to his friend. When his friend denied any knowledge of such a transfer, the man reported the scam to authorities.
While fake video calls are not yet commonplace, they are becoming increasingly prevalent with advancements in technology. Creating deepfake videos has become easy through certain free applications available online. Scammers only need access to someone’s image and voice, which can be obtained easily through their social media profiles.
To protect yourself from the dangers of fake video calls, here are some tips:
1. Be cautious with calls from unknown numbers: It is always best to investigate calls from unknown numbers. If you don’t recognize the caller or if their number is not saved in your contact list, proceed with caution.
2. Observe video quality: In fake video calls, the quality is usually poor and the background may appear blurry.
3. Check for unnatural speech patterns: AI-generated voices often lack natural cadence and can sound robotic. Pay attention to strange pauses or abrupt speech transitions.
4. Search for background voices: AI-generated voices typically have no background noise as they are created in controlled, noise-free environments. If there is complete silence in the background, it could be a sign of an AI-generated video call.
5. Verify identity: Ask the caller some open-ended questions to verify their identity. Keep the conversation going for a few minutes and see if your answers match theirs. If possible, try calling them back using the contact details you have to confirm if they made the recent video call.
6. Record and analyze: If you suspect a call is fake, record it if possible and run it through voice analysis tools available online.
7. Be cautious with money requests: If someone you know asks for money claiming an emergency, take a minute to verify their identity before responding.
In case you become a victim of such scams, report it to the nearest police station so that others can be protected from falling into similar traps.
According to the Indian Express article on fraudulent video calls detection (source), these tips can help individuals protect themselves from falling prey to fake video call scams. As technology continues to advance, it’s crucial that we stay vigilant and aware of potential risks in our increasingly digital world.
First published on: 23-09-2023 at 11:17 IST