Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to deceive and scam individuals on various platforms, including texts, social media, and dating apps. Victims have reported losing thousands of dollars to individuals they believed were real women, only to discover that they were interacting with sophisticated AI programs. These scammers not only stole their money but also manipulated their emotions.
Security experts have analyzed videos and photos shared by victims and identified several signs of manipulation. The videos often feature heavily filtered faces with unnatural eyes and a chin that blends into the neck. Additionally, the experts noticed generated faces on bodies and different shaped hands in the pictures. The words written on signs, claiming love or affection, were likely computer-generated. Experts advise people to look for other indicators, such as uneven tooth shapes or unusual-looking earrings.
The scammers use AI to generate messages that move the relationship too quickly, often expressing love or asking personal questions to gauge their victims' financial situation. This information is then used to calculate how much money they can potentially extract from their targets. Dating experts suggest meeting in a safe, public place soon after connecting online to verify the authenticity of the person.
Victims who fell for the scams shared their experiences, expressing regret for trusting strangers with their finances. One victim, Jim, lost $60,000 after being convinced to invest in the stock exchange by someone he met online. Another victim, also named Jim, sent thousands of dollars in gift cards to individuals he believed were interested in him romantically. Both men now caution others against trusting strangers with their money, regardless of how convincing the stories or pictures may be.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of romance scams, with or without AI involvement, has increased. According to the Federal Trade Commission, $1.3 billion was lost in such scams in 2022. It is crucial for individuals to remain vigilant, verify the authenticity of their online connections, and avoid disclosing personal and financial information to unknown individuals.