An Insight into AI Scam Calls: How Technology is Fueling Deceptive Practices

tellows Insights Report
Richard Grant
Richard Grant - Expert in Telecommunications and User Protection
Richard is responsible for tellows' Consumer Protection department and is responsible for investigating all matters relating to telephone fraud, with a particular focus on developments in the telecommunications sector. Last updated: Apr 29, 2024
 
Due to its capacity for process automation, and intelligent decision-making, artificial intelligence (AI) has completely transformed a number of sectors, including healthcare and finance. But along with these developments, AI has also developed into a powerful tool in the hands of scammers', especially when it comes to phone call scams. This article explores the usage of AI in scam calls, looking at how fraudsters are utilizing technology and how they are using it to their advantage.



tellows AI infographic
tellows Insights: Distribution of phone numbers assigned to AI Automated calls*
 

Official AI Automated numbers with positive ranking


tellows users submitted to 8 different phone numbers a total of 159 ratings.
PhoneNumber Ratings Caller Example Score
07953222222 24 EE (telephone company) They give their selves away by spoofing your mobile service provider's voicemail number, Then send 6
08456021111 103 British Telecommunication (BT) Just had another audio text to my landline via this number. Someone I know clicked on my landline n 5
01772368038 3 NHS automated call Automated message regarding a hospital referral. I chose the option to speak to someone who explaine 1
01274250544 5 Yorkshire water Automated info regarding water supply problem in my area HD5 4
07448604424 2 said were hmrc automated voice from fake hmrc asking to press no.1 on the keypad 5
08448791719 15 Custodian Monitoring Automated activated alarm system number & definitely owned by Custodian Monitoring as I have just sp 3
02038301215 2 British Gas Automated survey following call to British Gas Customer Services. 4
01912826222 5 Rvi appointments dont know why someone is saying this is a crypto scam, its an automated reminder service number for 5

Artificial Intelligence in Phishing Calls:

Artificial intelligence (AI)-driven scam calls are providing new avenues for fraud, accounting for 73% of all automated calls, allowing con artists to automate and customize their schemes on a never-before-seen scale. Voice synthesis technologies are used by these AI-driven systems to successfully imitate human voices, making it impossible for receivers to distinguish between real people and robots.
Furthermore, AI systems are capable of analyzing enormous volumes of data to create messages that are specifically targeted at potential victims, which raises the possibility that scams may be successful. The capacity of AI to have interactive discussions with receivers and dynamically address their queries and objections is one of the main benefits of AI in scam calls. Because AI systems may adjust their replies based on the recipient's behavior, this degree of involvement increases the scam call's credibility by crafting a more compelling story. Often scammer will use the guise of a well-known major company, like Amazon, given that there’s a higher chance the recipient will have an account with them. 6% of automated scam calls have been found to use Amazon as a cover.

Strategies Used by Con artists Employing AI:

When using AI in phone scams, con artists use a variety of strategies to trick and steal from gullible people. Using social engineering tactics, where AI systems obtain personal data from social media sites and public databases, is one popular strategy. Scammers increase the likelihood that the receiver will comply with their requests by establishing a sense of familiarity and trust by bringing up personal information about the recipient's life or hobbies.

AI Automated numbers with negative ranking

tellows users submitted to 133 different phone numbers a total of 428 ratings.
PhoneNumber Ratings Caller Example Score
01730892856 3 Amazon payment scam Automated voice mail claiming to be from VISA security & claiming my card had been used on Amazon (£ 9
02036411643 7 Cyber criminals This caller is using the number to play on peoples vulnerabilities, pretending to be from an opinion 7
01135344313 2 Automated call scam Could only hear the dial tone, and then a pause, and it hung up. 8
03316300392 3 Housing Repair spam Robocall claimed to be from a housing team calling about problems I'd supposedly reported to Housing 8
07701407167 14 Claiming to be hmrc Called automated service said press 1 for operator claiming to be hmrc saying a file against me and 8
07701407206 7 HMRC (scam) Received a call with an automated recording from his Majesty's HMRC notifying me that an official do 8
02036269759 3 Automated call scam Automated scam call, starts with a pre-recorded message, then connects to scammers once you respond. 8
01519281006 2 Bank Security scam A message from "Bank Security," which was automated, informed the customer that their card had been 8
03316307924 2 Housing repair spam I received 3 calls from +443316307924, was an automated agent calling about housing repair issues. N 8
02033377967 2 Green Home Energy spam An automated message claimed to be from a company called Green Home Energy. However, there's no reco 8


Using AI-powered voice synthesis to imitate powerful people or organizations, such financial institutions or government agencies, is another strategy. The hoax call gains credibility when official-sounding voices and language are used, giving the receiver the impression that the call is authentic and authoritative.

Additionally, AI-driven scam calls frequently take use of psychological responses like fear, anxiety, and greed in order to trick the listener into acting right away. Scammers may utilize AI-generated communications, for example, to trick victims into disclosing private information or telling them they have won a big reward or their bank account has been hijacked. These bank fraud cases, according to recent data, amount to 6% of automated scam calls. And, a tactic that has been found to be quite prevalent, which constitutes almost 10% of these calls, is the debt collection narrative.

The Effect on Businesses and Consumers:

Scam calls driven by AI are becoming more common, and this has serious consequences for businesses and consumers alike. If they fall for these sophisticated frauds, consumers run the danger of experiencing emotional turmoil, identity theft, and financial losses. Furthermore, a decline in confidence in phone conversations may cause people to become more skeptical and reluctant to interact with respectable organizations and companies.

On the other hand, businesses confront difficulties in implementing preventative measures for AI-driven scam calls since conventional fraud detection techniques might not be sufficient to counter these cunning strategies. Legitimate businesses risk having their credibility and reputation damaged if their clients fall for AI-driven frauds that mimic their products or services.

Reducing AI-Powered Fraudulent Calls :

AI-driven scam calls pose a problem that must be addressed with a multifaceted strategy that includes consumer education, governmental actions, and technology solutions. Rely on the tellows app to authenticate incoming calls, cross-referencing numbers against an expansive database of user-generated ratings. Other technological solutions that can help identify and stop fraudulent calls in real-time. Examples of these include sophisticated fraud detection systems that are powered by AI and machine learning algorithms. By identifying potentially fraudulent activity through the analysis of call patterns, speech traits, and behavioral clues, these systems lower the likelihood that consumers would fall victim to scams.

Regulations are essential for preventing fraudulent activity and holding those responsible for AI-driven schemes accountable. Stricter penalties for scam callers combined with increased enforcement of current rules and regulations can serve as a disincentive and halt illegal operations.

In order to enable people to identify and successfully respond to AI-driven scam calls, consumer education is essential. Consumers can be assisted in spotting warning signs, confirming the legitimacy of calls, and reporting suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities by using awareness campaigns, instructional materials, and communication best practices.

In summary it is clear that scam calls incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) provide a complicated and dynamic threat landscape that presents difficulties for organizations, consumers, and regulatory agencies alike. We can lessen the effects of AI-driven scam calls and protect against fraudulent activity in the digital age by understanding the strategies used by fraudsters to leverage AI, putting technological safeguards in place, and encouraging increased awareness and vigilance among customers.

All data was last updated on Apr 29, 2024. The phone numbers examined were categorized using the tellows score (1 - serious to 9 - dubious). This indicates the risk assessment of a telephone number. The higher the score, the more dubious the caller is. Calls with the AI categorization and the number of reported phone numbers were examined. The analysis only takes into account numbers for which tellows users have assigned the narrative of 'AI Automated' calls.

*User interest for phone numbers assigned to Artificial Intelligence related calls



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