Warning over terrifying ‘AI kidnap attack’ that raids your bank – billions of iPhone and Android must watch out

A MOTHER shared a chilling warning over an artificial intelligence phone scam that left her terrified.

When Jennifer DeStefano answered her phone, she was “100 percent” convinced that her 15-year-old daughter, Brie, was sobbing on the other line.

Jennifer DeStefano said she almost fell victim to an AI voice-cloning scamKPHOFacebook/Jennifer DeStefanoThe scammers were able to clone her daughter, Brie’s, voice and demanded $50,000 for her safe return[/caption]

“Mom, I messed up,” the voice said before a man’s voice was heard making threatening demands.

“This man gets on the phone, and he’s like, ‘listen here, I’ve got your daughter,’” the mother told WKYT.

At the time, DeStafano’s daughter was away on a ski trip.

The supposed kidnapper told DeStefano: “You call the police, you call anybody, I’m going to pop her so full of drugs, I’m going to have my way with her, and I’m going to drop her off in Mexico.”

Brie’s voice could be heard in the background of the call begging her mother to help as she was crying.

“It was 100 percent her voice,” said DeStefano.

“It was never a question of who is this? It was completely her voice, it was her inflection, it was the way she would have cried – I never doubted for one second it was her. That was the freaky part that really got me to my core.”

The kidnapper demanded $1million for Brie’s return but lowered the ransom to $50,000.

It wasn’t until a friend called DeStafano’s husband to confirm that Brie was safe that DeStafano realized all of it was fake.

Police are still looking for the scammer, who appeared to have used AI voice cloning technology which has become eerily accurate at predicting people’s voices.

It is also a fairly easy and accessible tool for people to use on the internet.

DeStefano said Brie hadn’t put her voice on her social media accounts.

“She has a few public interviews for sports/school that have a large sampling of her voice,” she said.

“However, this is something to be extra concerned with kids who do have public accounts.”

Before, in order to clone a person’s voice, it took a large number of samples but now, a voice can be cloned with just three seconds of your voice.

“You can no longer trust your ears,” said Subbarao Kambhampati, a computer science professor at Arizona State University specializing in AI.

“And with the three seconds, it can come close to how exactly you sound,” Kambhampati added. “Most of the voice cloning actually captures the inflection as well as the emotion.”

According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers will usually ask victims to wire money, send crypto, or pay the ransom with gift cards.

Once the money is transferred, it’s nearly impossible to get it back.

Dan Mayo, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix office said red flags to look out for include the phone number coming from an area code that you’re not familiar with, if the number is an international one, and if the person on the phone isn’t allowing you to talk to other family members for help.

“Just think of the movies. Slow it down. Slow the person down. Ask a bunch of questions,” said Mayo.

“If they have someone of interest to you, you’re going to know a lot of details about them that this scam artist isn’t going to know. You start asking questions about who it is and different details of their background that are not publicly available, you’re going to find out real quick that it’s a scam artist.”

It’s unclear how often these cases happen but Mayo said it’s on a daily basis but not everyone reports the scam.

Mayo believes it might be that people are relieved that their loved ones are safe that they forget to report.

“However, there are some people who give in to these and they end up sending the money to these individuals,” he said. “Trust me, the FBI is looking into these people, and we find them.”

DeStefano thankfully didn’t send any money to the scammers but she said she is still traumatized from the entire ordeal.

“I literally just sat down and broke down crying,” she said. “They were tears for all of the what ifs. It all just seemed so real.”

GettyAccording to experts, cloning a person’s voice has become incredibly easy in recent years[/caption]

GettyNever give money to strangers over the phone, especially if they ask for the money to be wired or paid with a gift card[/caption]