AI social engineering scams are on the rise, according to IDIQ Chief Innovation Officer Michael Scheumack. “AI-based social engineering scams, which were at a high percentage last year, are up 100% this year for us,” Scheumack said.
IdentityIQ, a trusted identity theft and credit monitoring brand under IDIQ, recently came out with its 2022 Scam Report. It takes a close look at the latest trends in identity theft, breaks down the new wave of AI-related scams, and gives suggestions for how consumers can better protect themselves.
Scheumack recently spoke with CardRates.com to share some of the shocking information found in the report.
Main Findings: IdentityIQ 2022 Scam Report
In the IdentityIQ Scam Report for 2022, a serious issue takes center stage – the alarming rise of AI-based social engineering scams. These threats are hitting close to home, targeting both identities and financial security.
AI Manipulates Trust
The strategies deployed in these scams are clever, especially when it comes to voice-cloning and impersonation techniques fueled by the capabilities of AI. They prey on our emotions and exploit the trust we place in others. The result? People are giving away sensitive information and engaging in risky financial transactions.
Alarming Trends Come to Light
The report brings some shocking stats to our attention. There’s been an astonishing 58% surge in scams tied to the popular payment apps we rely on. And that’s not all. The report also shines a light on a disturbing 44% spike in document theft, made possible by a mix of old-school mail theft and sophisticated phishing attacks.
The Art of the Advanced Scam
It’s hard to ignore the leaps AI has taken, and unfortunately, that applies to scams as well. The report highlights the emergence of more complex scams. A perfect example is the use of voice-cloning technology, which allows scammers to pull off shockingly accurate human interactions. They’re not just copying voices; they’re replicating the subtle emotions and nuances we associate with friends and family. This plays on our vulnerabilities, tugging at the strings of psychology to get us to spill personal and financial information.
The Urgent Need to Act
The report emphasizes the urgent need for us, the consumers, to equip ourselves with knowledge. We need to fully grasp the potential consequences of falling victim to these scams. But it doesn’t stop there. The report also drives home the importance of staying ahead of the curve and proactively protecting ourselves from these ever-evolving threats.
Tips to Protect Yourself Against AI Social Engineering Scams
Family Safe Word
When it comes to AI scams, it can be hard to tell if it’s really a family member calling you in danger or if it’s artificial intelligence replicating their voice. Scheumack suggests creating a “family safe word” to ensure that in the case of an emergency, you can verify who you’re really speaking to.
“If one of your kids calls you in a panic, a safe word may be the only thing you can share that is not found online,” Scheumack said.
Credit Report Monitoring
It’s important to keep a close watch on your credit report. This isn’t just about maintaining a healthy credit score; it’s also about staying informed about any possible instances of identity theft. When you actively monitor your credit report, you’ll receive alerts about various activities, such as:
- Change of address
- Change of personal information
- Reporting of a delinquent account
- New credit inquiries
- New public records
- New judgments
- New credit accounts and loans
IdentityIQ offers 24/7 credit report monitoring to help you stay protected from potential threats.