Artificial Intelligence Being Used To Clone People’s Voices For Malicious Purposes

Scammers used artificial intelligence to clone a 15-year-old's voice in an attempt to trick her mother into thinking she was kidnapped to get ransom money.

By Ryan Clancy | Published

artificial intelligence

A mother in Arizona was hoaxed by artificial intelligence into thinking that her daughter was kidnapped. The distressed mother is now warning parents to be vigilant about what their kids are exposed to, especially regarding the new technology. The twisted joke mimicked her daughter’s voice so well that it tricked her own mother into thinking that she was actually in trouble. 

The mother said her traumatic experience started with a call from an unknown number. It just so happened that her teenage daughter was away on a school trip, so she answered the phone just in case it was her or her teachers. 

When she answered, she heard her daughter’s panicked and upset voice. She immediately asked her child what was wrong and to explain why she was crying. The response she got was chilling. Her fifteen-year-old daughter stated that a group of men had kidnapped her and that her mother had to help her.

This is a call that every parent has nightmares over.

The call quickly changed to a man who demanded a ransom for her daughter’s safe return. What made the mother suspicious was that the kidnapper did not want a wire transfer of money but would have rathered to pick her up instead. 

In a stroke of luck, the mother in question called her teachers and confirmed that her daughter was safe and had not been kidnapped. This hoax set a chain of events extremely traumatizing to this teenager’s family. 

The people who tried to manipulate this family for money used artificial intelligence to reproduce her teenage daughter’s voice. The family then started to wonder and piece together how these people could get so much information, including their voices. But experts from a technology education company stated that obtaining a recording of anyone’s voice might not be that difficult, primarily through social media. 

Most people have an online presence and have spoken in videos or reels at some point. These are basically recordings of your voice that can be used by artificial intelligence to build a complete profile of conversation using the tone, verbal and speech afflictions you would use on a daily basis. This makes online safety very difficult to control and regulate as artificial intelligence and other forms of technology become more prevalent. 

Some experts say that voice cloning software can completely clone a person’s voice with only a few seconds of audio. Due to the sophistication of these types of software, it is getting easier for criminals to manipulate and scare innocent individuals. 

While artificial intelligence has excited a lot of people and, if used correctly, can be very beneficial for individuals and businesses. But it needs to have standards and regulations set to ensure that people cannot use technology to terrify people to an extent like this mother. 

Experts recommend keeping social media profiles private to ensure that only the people that you select can see your pictures and videos. Also, look for suspicious activity, such as calls from unknown numbers or from international countries. 

Keeping vigilant with your internet safety, especially with artificial intelligence becoming more prevalent, is the best way to stay safe.