An older man speaks on the phone and knows AI scams can be used for voice cloning and number spoofing.

October is the season for spookiness, but none of Halloween’s haunts can hold a candle to the frightening reality of the latest AI scams. Older adults have long been the target of scammers, who prey on their perceived vulnerability and loneliness. Unfortunately, technology is taking their efforts to an entirely new level, making it challenging for even the savviest individual to recognize their deception.

AI and The Grandparent Scam

The grandparent scam is nothing new. An older adult would receive a call from someone claiming to be a relative demanding immediate financial help for a crisis they were facing. The voice, manner of speaking, and phone number could often give away the caller’s malintent.

Enter AI. Scammers can now utilize technology to clone a person’s voice, using just a few seconds of audio pulled from social media such as TikTok or Instagram. The cloning software allows the individual to type whatever text they want the voice to say, and the result is a startlingly accurate replica of the person’s actual voice.

To further compound the challenge with detecting the scam, calls can now seem to come from any number the scammer chooses.

So a grandparent answers the telephone, recognizes the phone number as that of his granddaughter, and hears her frantic voice urgently requesting money to help her in a crisis. How should such a situation be handled?

Strategies to Thwart AI Scams

Following these steps will help protect the older adults you love from AI scams:

  • Talk about it. Explain the details surrounding the newest AI scams to your older family members so they are aware of what to anticipate. Make sure everyone understands that simply because caller ID shows a familiar telephone number, it doesn’t mean the call is in fact from that number. This applies to businesses as well as personal contacts.
  • Agree on a family password. Select a word that everybody in your family can easily remember, but which would be difficult for someone outside of your circle to guess. If someone calls claiming to be a family member in crisis, ask for the secret code word.
  • Call back. In a true emergency, a family member may not remember the code word. As another means to confirm the caller’s identity, always hang up the phone and call the person right back.
  • Be cautious about clicking. Scammers might also send an email that appears to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or retail business the person uses frequently. These emails are exceedingly difficult to differentiate from authentic emails from an organization. A smart practice is to never click on an emailed link, but to go right to an organization’s website through a browser.

Report All Scams Immediately

If you or someone you love has been targeted by any kind of scam, get in touch with law enforcement along with the Federal Trade Commission.

Inspired Home Care Is Here to Help Keep Older Adults Safe From AI Scams

Home care is a fantastic way to add an extra level of safety and protection for older adults. Our caregivers provide the companionship needed to safeguard against isolation and loneliness—key considerations scammers are looking for in their targets.

Give us a call at 847-787-7572 or contact us online to discover how our in-home care in Gold Coast, Palatine, Chicago, and the surrounding areas can help a person you love remain safe while living life to the fullest.