Artificial intelligence and scams

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Artificial intelligence and scams: What about malicious use?

We spoke to private investigator Lefteris Pelekasis about Artificial intelligence and scams.

Artificial intelligence and scams

Lefteris Pelekasis, Private Investigator spoke to ATHENS VOICE about the scams through artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence became known to the average citizen through social media and the making of videos with humorous content. But what happens if someone decides to maliciously use it to create offensive content or a scam? We spoke to Lefteris Pelekasis, Private Researcher to find out what we are concerned about around AI and scams.

Interview with Lefteris Pelekasis, Private Investigator on artificial intelligence and scams.

What is artificial intelligence and what is its use?

Simply put, artificial intelligence is the science of computers that have the ability to complete tasks that humans are already performing or require human intelligence to complete. AI uses technology to learn and recreate plausibly human tasks. In some cases, AI even has the ability to perform human tasks better than we can, which may make it a threat to the workforce.

AI may have recently become popular or more accessible to the average user, but it has actually been used in many ways for years. It is used either intentionally or unintentionally in our daily lives such as facial recognition for screen unlocking, search engines and cookies, voice assistants, smart devices, recommendation software, etc.

What about AI scams and voice impersonation?
In Greece, as abroad, artificial intelligence has started to be used for online scams mainly through voice imitation. A user who has a good sample of our voice can easily reproduce with our own voice any text typed in the AI program.

To obtain a sample of our voice is not something extremely difficult. Most people now have on their personal social media profiles a video containing their voice. Even if they don’t, abusers can easily gain access and sample via a phone call by pretending to ask for someone else and pretending to dial the wrong number.

The voice sample is then fed into the AI program, “trained” and reproduces typed text or recorded speech with the tone and inflection of the victim’s voice. This is how audio is created with our own voices and solicits sums of money from friends and family. The perpetrators claim to be in need of money either for a medical reason, or because they have had an accident, or to pay an obligation as they supposedly left home without money, or because they ran out of money for the current month, etc.

Artificial intelligence and scams

What are the ways to avoid it?

In case something like this happens, the best ways to make sure if it is a case of impersonation or not are:

  • Video or phone call to the actual number of the friend or relative. In these cases they pretend that the phone is not working, no signal, battery etc. and therefore call you from another number, trying in every way not to contact the real number.
  • Call another family member who can probably verify or deny the caller’s claims.
  • If none of the above can be done, the only solution is to ask the person for some information that only the two of you would know.
  • Encourage friends and relatives on social media to set their pages and profiles to private and not accept requests from strangers. This makes it harder for scammers to collect personal information and material.

When the perpetrator tries to carry out this kind of fraud, he is usually in a hurry and pushy, trying to put us in a state of stress and rush. In any case, as strange as it may seem to some, the above steps or part of them should be followed in order to avoid any fraud.

Do not trust the identity of the caller. Phone numbers can be spoofed and make it appear that the call is coming from an official agency, such as a police office, hospital or government agency, etc.

Creating offensive images and videos. Tell us about it.

Through artificial intelligence, images and videos can be created in which any content the user wishes can be depicted or reproduced. For the average Tik-Tok user this is familiar as various people from the political and journalistic scene of our country have been the subject of humorous videos or images, with their face relaying funny news, anecdotes and general humorous content.

Many of the users, in fact, have made similar videos of fake and humorous news with journalist N.E. The plausibility of these creations by amateur users is excellent, often raising the question of whether the content has been reproduced by the channel or whether it is a humorous creation of AI.

However, the use of this technology can be used accordingly to reproduce and change the face in videos of erotic content, abusive content, false news, statements, erotic provocations, etc.

Ways of dealing with:

  • Since the content has been posted, the victim should be reported to the cybercrime prosecution so that the perpetrator can be found if possible. At the same time, ask for reports to be made to the platform in question by friendly persons so that the request can be considered and the content taken down.
  • Since you are not a public figure, where cameras and publicity are essential, it would be prudent not to post content with your face as it can be used in a variety of ways depending on the mood of any malicious person. Should you wish to do so, your list of friends should be fairly closed with familiar faces exclusively.

What is the conclusion?
We have reached the point now where technology is outweighing human ability and control. Artificial intelligence is a tool that has many positive and many negative things to offer to the everyday life of humans. It is a tool that scares some people while it fascinates others. In any case, it should be used wisely and with a view to serving needs and improving the quality of services, not to diminish human existence and offend personality. Since there will always be malicious people, the information and personal data shared by each user on the Internet must be limited.

Pelekasis Lefteris – Private investigator
Athens Detective Agency 39 Stadiou Street, Athens, Greece, 2103616406
Piraeus Detective Agency Er.Polytechniou 36, 2104131519
Artificial intelligence and scams
Published in the online magazine Athens Voice 13/12/2023

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