A new survey from online security firm McAfee reveals that almost half of Indian adults have either experienced or know someone who has experienced an artificial intelligence (AI) voice scam. This is almost double the global average of 25%. The survey of 7,054 people across seven countries, including India, found that 47% of Indian adults have experienced some form of AI voice scam. Furthermore, 83% of the Indian victims have suffered financial losses.
The survey also revealed that more than half of Indian respondents (69%) cannot differentiate between an AI voice and a real voice. McAfee warns that AI technology is fueling a rise in online voice scams, with just three seconds of audio required to clone a person’s voice. The report suggests using a verbal codeword among family members and trusted friends as one of the protective measures from voice scams.
Deep Fakes and Disinformation Contributing to Wariness of Social Media
The survey also found that the rise of deep fakes and disinformation has led to increased wariness of social media, with 27% of Indian adults saying that they are now less trusting of social media than ever before. The report also found that 43% of Indian adults are concerned over the rise of misinformation or disinformation.
McAfee CTO Steve Grobman warns that while AI brings incredible opportunities, it can also be used maliciously in the wrong hands, as is currently happening with the access and ease of use of AI tools helping cybercriminals to scale their efforts in increasingly convincing ways.
The survey found that 66% of Indian respondents said they would reply to a voicemail or voice note purporting to be from a friend or loved one in need of money, especially if they thought the request had come from their parent (46%), partner or spouse (34%), or child (12%). Messages most likely to elicit a response were those claiming that the sender had been robbed (70%), was involved in a car incident (69%), lost their phone or wallet (65%), or needed help while travelling abroad (62%).
In conclusion, the survey highlights the need for greater awareness of the risks associated with AI-enabled voice scams. It also underscores the importance of safeguarding oneself from such scams, using measures such as verbal codewords among trusted individuals.
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