Published February 9, 2024
Your phone rings, and a family member frantically claims to have been kidnapped. Suddenly, another voice interjects, demanding a substantial ransom. It's a frightening scenario, but it's probably an imposter scam.
Imposter scams have been a concern, both at UB and nationally, for some time. Recent developments indicate that they are becoming more sophisticated, thanks to the growing use of AI programs.
And while AI is often used for good, cloned voices, created through accessible AI technology, have added a new layer of realism to scams, making them even more convincing.
These imposter scams can take several forms. Your family or friends may get a phone call with an AI-version of your voice, saying you’ve been kidnapped. Conversely, you could receive that call.
Other scams are out there as well. For instance, you might get a call or message from someone saying they’re in law enforcement, demanding that you respond or you’ll suffer legal consequences. International students may receive calls or messages claiming their visas are in jeopardy.
“The line that connects these scams is that they all depend on using emotion to get what they want, said Dr. Cathy Ullman, Principal Technology Architect, Security with UB’s Information Security Office.
“If the message or call seems to include fear and/or greed tactics, always be skeptical and suspicious,” she added.
Contact the UBIT Help Center any time you need help with UB technology, online at buffalo.edu/ubit/help or by phone at 716-645-3542.