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Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) influencing fraud and scam tactics?

Artificial Intelligence (AI).
You have probably heard about it on the news, read about it on Facebook, and seen an ever-growing number of blogs talking about the pros and cons of AI.

But what is AI?
Simply put, artificial intelligence leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind such as interpreting speech, playing games, and identifying patterns. Some examples of AI being used in today’s society include self-driving cars, Google Maps, computer-based competitors for digital games (i.e., online chess or poker), and smart assistants like Alexa.

That leaves a big question in a world of developing technology: Can AI help hackers and scammers to steal your identity or money?

You may have heard of the growing trend where scammers use AI to mimic the voice of your loved one in hopes of getting personal information or money from you. With more hackers and scammers using AI, it’s important to understand how to spot a scam and how to protect yourself.

Types of scams using AI

  1. Voice cloning
    As mentioned in the example above, scammers can use AI to mimic the voice of your loved ones by taking a short sample of their voice. If you receive a panicked call from a grandchild or friend, tell them you will call them back and call them using the number you have on your phone or usually use to contact them. Or get another family member to contact this person for you. When in doubt, ask others to confirm that the “caller” needs assistance.

    Remember… scammers usually want money on the spot. If you’re being asked to wire money or gift cards right away, that is a sign the call is a scam, and you should hang up.

  2. ChatGPT Phishing Emails
    With the introduction of ChatGPT, phishing emails are getting more sophisticated and harder to spot. According to ZDNet, “ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to have human-like conversations and much more with the chatbot. The language model can answer questions and assist you with tasks, such as composing emails, essays, and code.” By using ChatGPT to create more realistic phishing emails, you may need to take extra time to ensure that the emails you receive are the real deal.

    Keep these in mind when reviewing a suspicious email:
    - Check the sender's email to see if it looks unfamiliar or very long.
    - If the sender is asking for money right away, that is usually a hint it is a scam.
    - If the scammer is pretending to be a financial institution or service you use, don’t click any links in the email and instead log in to your account through the proper website or call the organization/institution to ask about the email.
    - The email includes time-sensitive threats (e.g. “If you do not log in using the link below to confirm your password, your account will be deleted within the next hour.").

  3. Deepfakes
    “Deepfakes” are computer-generated videos and audio that impersonate someone to spread a false message. At first glance, it may be hard to tell if that video you saw on Facebook was real or a Deepfake because by using AI, impersonation can be more realistic than ever. One way to tell if the video is a Deepfake or using AI is if the audio does not line up with the video, such as delayed or misaligned speech or sounds (i.e. coughing or sneezing) while the person is still talking.

How to protect yourself
Did you know that some property insurance carriers offer identity theft and/or cyber incident protection? See below for a list of carriers that offer protection against fraud or scams.

Currently Aviva offers identity theft protect that can be added to any property insurance policy to protect from forgery or credit card related thefts.

Starting on October 1, 2023, Aviva will begin offering a Cyber Endorsement which helps policyholders in cases of online fraud (credit card or automated bank account fraud, identity theft, etc.), computer attacks in cases of malware or hacking, cyber extortion, data breach, etc.

CAA offers an Identity theft endorsement that can be added to property policies at an additional cost. This endorsement helps those affected by identify theft with extra costs related to resolving identity theft along with specified damages or reimbursement of costs resulting from the theft of or illegal access.

Intact offers the My Identity™ endorsement which is a combination of coverage and services, such as Legal Information Service, Identity Theft Coverage, Cyber Protection, and Consumer Dispute Coverage, for multiple types of losses. This can be added to property policies at an additional cost.

If you're a current OTIP policyholder, contact us at 1-833-615-9329 to review your existing home insurance policy and discuss additional identity theft coverage and cyber protection. If you’re not insured with OTIP and are shopping for home insurance, call us at 1-833-494-0085 to get a quote and receive a $20 gift card of your choice!

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  3. ZDNet ChatGPT:
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