News that an elderly woman was tricked out of $100,000 over Facebook won’t be a surprise to regular readers. She was fooled into thinking she was talking to a friend, and then sending money to access some make-believe Covid fund.
AI makes it easy to speak in someone else’s voice.
I asked ChatGPT to chat as it it were Winston Churchill and it told me “Internet scammers, my friends, are the modern-day highwaymen of the digital age. They lurk in the dark corners of the World Wide Web, preying on unsuspecting individuals with deceit and cunning. To combat this menace, we must adopt a resolute and multifaceted approach”
Try it as Mickey Mouse “Oh gosh, internet scammers, they sure are a real problem, aren’t they? We’ve gotta be super careful online, just like we do in the real world!”
Or Donald Trump “Well, let me tell you, folks, when it comes to dealing with internet scammers, I’ve got the best ideas, really terrific ideas. Nobody knows the internet like I do, believe me.”
You get the idea! So, how can you protect yourself?
- Verify Identity: Always verify the identity of the person you are interacting with online, especially if you’re dealing with financial transactions or sharing personal information. Look for official profiles on social media, check their credentials, and confirm their identity through trusted sources. Phone them or use video-chat tio check its really them
- Beware of Red Flags: Be cautious if someone you’ve just met online rushes into a personal relationship or makes requests for money, personal details, or sensitive information. These are often signs of fraudulent intentions.
- Use Secure Channels: Communicate through secure and reputable platforms or channels. Avoid sharing personal information or engaging in financial transactions over public forums or unencrypted messaging apps.
- Check Email Addresses and URLs: Scrutinize email addresses and website URLs for inconsistencies or suspicious domains. Phishing attempts often use slight variations to mimic legitimate sites.
The ultimate advice is simply to trust your instincts.
If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and be skeptical of unsolicited offers or contacts.