Texas – In a distressing rise of technological manipulation, Texas has ascended to the rank of the second most robocalled state in the United States. In the last 30 days alone, the Dallas-Fort Worth area experienced more than 30 million robocalls, while nearly 800 million were recorded statewide, a staggering figure that unveils the extent of this modern menace.
Artificial intelligence heavily used by scammers
Not content with mere numbers, malicious entities are taking these fraudulent endeavors a step further. Utilizing advanced artificial intelligence technology, they craft auditory representations of individuals’ loved ones, preying on their emotional vulnerabilities with the aim of extracting hard-earned money.
An analysis by experts has shed light on the demographic most susceptible to these malicious tactics. Elderly individuals often find themselves ensnared in a web of deceit that includes—but is not limited to—unneeded insurance offers, fraudulent charitable solicitations, and urgent pleas involving fictitious legal entanglements of family members. Foreign students, too, are besieged with demands for money to process visas, country registration costs, and other seemingly official expenses.
These alarming practices persist in spite of federal legislative efforts aimed at curtailing them. While the federal government has succeeded in halting call spoofing, a technicality in the law has left it powerless to put a stop to the underlying scamming.
“Bad actors will always try to take advantage of us as consumers,” said Greg Bohl, chief data officer at TNS. “Be vigilant in terms of if somebody is asking you for money directly… be aware it’s probably somebody that shouldn’t be asking for money. It’s a bad actor.”
Approximately $65 billion was siphoned off by these robocalls last year
The financial toll of this unscrupulous activity is nothing short of staggering. In 2022, a total of approximately $65 billion was siphoned off by these robocalls, according to data provided by robokiller.
To counteract this burgeoning threat, experts advise the following precautionary measures:
- Stand firm against demands for immediate payment.
- Establish a unique, recognizable word with family and loved ones as a security measure.
- If suspicious, terminate the call and directly contact the family member in question to confirm their identity.
- Request a call-back number to act as a delaying strategy, potentially unmasking the scammer.
For those who fear they have fallen victim to such a ploy, immediate recourse is available through reporting to local police, the State Attorney General’s office, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In the ceaseless battle against the faceless criminals of the digital age, vigilance, awareness, and prompt action remain our most potent defenses.