AI-Generated Senior Citizen Scams and How to Protect Yourself

Nov 1, 2023 | Technology

Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to various forms of scams. One of the most prevalent methods that exploit their trust and lack of familiarity with modern technology involves AI-generated robocalls. In this article, we will explore how AI is used to execute these senior citizen scams. We’ll also provide valuable tips on how seniors can protect themselves from becoming victims.

The Execution of the Scam

AI-generated robocalls are an automated method of delivering scam messages to a wide audience, including senior citizens. The following ways demonstrate the execution of a call:

  1. Caller ID Spoofing: Scammers use AI to manipulate the caller ID displayed on the recipient’s phone, making it appear as a legitimate organization, government agency, or even a family member. This initial deception can lead seniors to trust the call.
  2. Pre-recorded Messages: AI-generated voices deliver pre-recorded messages that are carefully designed to create a sense of urgency or fear, prompting immediate action from the recipient. Common themes include unpaid taxes, Medicare issues, or urgent financial matters.
  3. Personalization: Scammers use AI to tailor the message to the individual, mentioning their name or providing personal information obtained from data breaches. This personal touch increases the perceived legitimacy of the call.
  4. Fake Government or Financial Institution Impersonation: Scammers often pose as government agencies or financial institutions, claiming that the senior citizen owes money or that their accounts have been compromised. They may demand sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers or financial details.
  5. Request for Payment: The scam call typically ends with a request for immediate payment, often in the form of gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency. Scammers may threaten legal action or the suspension of benefits to pressure seniors into complying.

Protecting Senior Citizens from AI-Generated Robocall Scams

  1. Verify Caller ID: Never solely rely on caller ID information. Scammers can easily spoof numbers to appear legitimate. When in doubt, hang up and verify the organization’s contact details independently.
  2. Be Cautious with Personal Information: Do not share personal or financial information over the phone unless you initiated the call and are certain of the recipient’s identity.
  3. Resist Urgency: Scammers use time-sensitive language to pressure victims into immediate action. Take your time to verify the legitimacy of the call, and consult with a trusted family member or friend before making any decisions.
  4. Government Agency Verification: If a call claims to be from a government agency, independently verify its legitimacy. Government agencies rarely demand immediate payments over the phone or threaten arrest without proper notification.
  5. Educate and Communicate: We must educate seniors about common scam tactics and the importance of being cautious. Encourage open communication with family members who can provide guidance and support.
  6. Use Call Blocking: Many smartphones have call-blocking features that can filter out known scam numbers or calls from unknown sources. Enable these features to reduce the number of unsolicited calls.
  7. Register on the Do Not Call List: Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce the number of unwanted sales calls.

AI-generated robocalls can be senior citizen scams and are a prevalent and insidious threat that preys on trust and vulnerability. By understanding the execution of these scams and following the suggested protection measures, seniors can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to such fraudulent calls. Staying vigilant and informed is crucial in the fight against this form of financial exploitation. In addition, law enforcement agencies and telecommunications companies continue to develop technologies to combat these scams. Naturally, this can further protect senior citizens and the general public from AI-generated robocall scams.