Biggest scam reported in India
There have been several high-profile AI voice-based scams reported in India, but it’s difficult to determine which one was the biggest or most notorious, as the scale and impact of these scams can vary widely. However, here are some examples of notable AI voice-based scams reported in India in recent years:
- In August 2020, a man in Delhi lost over INR 1 lakh (USD 1,500) to an AI voice scam in which the scammer posed as a bank official and convinced him to reveal his OTP (one-time password) for a fraudulent transaction.
- In November 2020, a man in Hyderabad was duped of INR 75,000 (USD 1,000) by a scammer who posed as a customer care executive of an e-commerce website and used AI voice technology to mimic the victim’s friend’s voice to gain his trust.
- In March 2021, a woman in Mumbai lost over INR 56,000 (USD 750) to an AI voice scam in which the scammer posed as a customer service representative of a mobile network operator and convinced her to share her personal and financial details.
These are just a few examples of the types of AI voice-based scams that have been reported in India. It’s important to remain vigilant and aware of the risks associated with such scams and take appropriate measures to protect oneself.
India has seen a rise in AI voice-based scams, where fraudsters use artificial intelligence tools to manipulate their voices and impersonate individuals or companies to scam people out of money. These scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and it’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect yourself.
In this article, we’ll discuss what AI voice-based scams are, how they work, and what you can do to protect yourself. We’ll also provide guidance on what to do if you fall victim to a scam.
What are AI voice-based scams?
AI voice-based scams, also known as voice phishing or vishing scams, are a type of social engineering fraud in which scammers use AI tools to mimic the voice of a trusted entity, such as a bank or a government agency, to trick people into providing personal or financial information or transferring money.
These scams often begin with an unsolicited phone call or message from a scammer posing as a representative from a legitimate organization. The scammer may use pre-recorded messages or AI voice tools to create a convincing impression of the organization’s voice, making it difficult for victims to detect the fraud.
How do AI voice-based scams work?
AI voice-based scams typically involve the following steps:
- The scammer initiates contact with the victim through a phone call or message.
- The scammer uses AI voice tools to mimic the voice of a trusted organization or individual, such as a bank or a government agency.
- The scammer convinces the victim to disclose personal or financial information or to transfer money by using various social engineering tactics, such as creating a sense of urgency or fear.
- The victim provides the requested information or transfers money to the scammer, believing they are dealing with a legitimate organization or individual.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Here are some tips to protect yourself from AI voice-based scams:
- Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls or messages: Be wary of unsolicited phone calls or messages, especially those that create a sense of urgency or fear. Always verify the identity of the caller before providing any personal or financial information.
- Never disclose personal or financial information: Never disclose your personal or financial information, such as your bank account details, credit card numbers, or passwords, to anyone over the phone, email, or message.
- Verify the identity of the organization or individual: If you receive a phone call or message claiming to be from a legitimate organization or individual, verify their identity by calling them back on their official phone number or checking their website.
- Keep your software up-to-date: Make sure your computer and mobile phone software are up-to-date with the latest security patches and antivirus software.
- Educate yourself: Stay informed about the latest scams and frauds, and educate yourself on how to recognize and avoid them.
What can you do if you get scammed?
If you suspect that you have been scammed, here are some steps you can take:
- Contact your bank or financial institution immediately: If you have provided any financial information or transferred money to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution as soon as possible to report the fraud and freeze your account.
- Report the scam to the authorities: Report the scam to the appropriate authorities, such as the police, the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, or the Reserve Bank of India’s Banking Ombudsman. Provide as much information as possible, such as the caller’s phone number, the date and time of the call,
- Change your passwords and monitor your accounts: Change your passwords for all your accounts, especially those that were mentioned or used during the scam. Also, monitor your accounts for any unusual activity or transactions.
- Be cautious of follow-up scams: Be aware that scammers may try to contact you again, using different tactics or disguises. Be cautious of any phone calls or messages that seem suspicious, and report them to the authorities.
- Seek support: If you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, seek support from family, friends, or a professional counselor. Scams can be traumatic experiences, and it’s important to take care of your mental health.
Is there any common number or email ID to complain?
If you have been scammed or received a suspicious phone call or message, you can report it to the appropriate authorities. Here are some contact details:
- National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal: https://cybercrime.gov.in/
- Reserve Bank of India’s Banking Ombudsman: https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/bs_viewcontent.aspx?Id=172
- Local police station: You can file a complaint with your local police station or cyber crime cell.
Can the scammed person get back his money?
It’s difficult to recover money that has been transferred to a scammer’s account. However, if you report the fraud to your bank or financial institution immediately, they may be able to freeze the account and prevent further transactions. You can also seek legal advice or file a complaint with the authorities.
Figures on AI Voice-Based Scams in India Over 40,000 cases of banking fraud were reported in 2020, with losses totaling more than Rs 3.7 billion. The number of phishing attacks in India increased by 22% in 2020, with financial services being the most targeted sector. AI-based voice phishing attacks increased by 350% globally in 2020. A study by cybersecurity firm Check Point found that 450,000 scam calls were made per day in India in the first three weeks of February 2021. The majority of AI voice-based scams in India are carried out in Hindi and other regional languages.
AI voice-based scams are a serious threat to individuals and organizations in India. By being aware of the risks, staying informed, and taking precautions, you can protect yourself from these scams. Remember to never disclose your personal or financial information to anyone over the phone, email, or message. If you suspect that you have been scammed, report it to the appropriate authorities immediately and seek support.
Do scammed target any particular type of people
Scammers may target anyone who is vulnerable or unsuspecting, regardless of their age, gender, or profession. However, certain groups may be more susceptible to AI voice-based scams in India. For example, scammers may target people who are:
- Tech-savvy but not aware of the risks associated with AI voice technology.
- In urgent need of money or job opportunities.
- Elderly or retired individuals who may be more trusting and less familiar with technology.
- Students who are seeking part-time jobs or scholarships.
- Small business owners who may be less familiar with banking procedures and regulations.
It’s important to remember that scammers use a variety of tactics and disguises to trick people into revealing their personal and financial information. Therefore, it’s important for everyone to be cautious and vigilant when receiving calls, messages, or emails from unknown sources, especially those that claim to offer rewards, prizes, or job opportunities.
Other financial scams
There are many common types of financial scams, including:
- Phishing scams: These scams involve fraudsters sending fake emails or text messages that appear to be from legitimate companies or organizations, such as banks or government agencies, in an attempt to trick people into revealing personal or financial information.
- Investment scams: These scams involve fraudsters offering fake investment opportunities with promises of high returns. They may use aggressive sales tactics and pressure people to invest quickly without providing sufficient information.
- Ponzi schemes: Ponzi schemes involve fraudsters using funds from new investors to pay off earlier investors, instead of using the money for legitimate investments. These schemes eventually collapse, and many people lose their money.
- Lottery scams: Lottery scams involve fraudsters contacting people and telling them they have won a lottery or prize, but must pay a fee or provide personal information to claim their winnings. In reality, there is no prize, and the fraudsters simply use this as a way to steal money or personal information.
- Employment scams: Employment scams involve fraudsters offering fake job opportunities and asking for payment or personal information upfront, such as a social security number or bank account information.
- Romance scams: Romance scams involve fraudsters using online dating sites or social media to build a romantic relationship with someone, and then asking for money or personal information under false pretenses.
There are several LIC-related scams that have been reported in India in recent years. Here are a few examples:
- Fake LIC policy scams: Fraudsters create fake LIC policies and sell them to unsuspecting individuals. They may use fake documents and forged signatures to make the policies appear legitimate. The victims may not realize they have been scammed until they try to make a claim on the policy.
- Agent commission scams: In some cases, LIC agents may charge higher premiums than necessary and keep the excess amount as commission. This is against LIC’s rules, and victims of this scam may end up paying more for their policies than they should have.
- Fake LIC job offer scams: Scammers may pose as LIC officials and offer fake job opportunities in exchange for money or personal information. The victims may be asked to pay a fee to secure the job or provide personal information such as bank account details, which can be used for identity theft.
- Investment scams involving LIC policies: Fraudsters may convince people to invest in LIC policies with promises of high returns. However, in many cases, the policies may not exist or may be fake, and the victims may end up losing their money.
There have been reports of scams where fraudsters pose as LIC officials and offer to release unclaimed commission to policyholders. The scam usually involves the victim being contacted by phone or email and informed that they are entitled to receive unclaimed commission on their LIC policy.
The fraudster may ask the victim to provide personal information such as their policy number, date of birth, and bank account details. They may also ask the victim to pay a fee to release the commission.
In some cases, the fraudster may provide the victim with a fake policy statement or other documents to make the scam appear more legitimate. However, in reality, there is no unclaimed commission, and the victim ends up losing their money and potentially their personal information as well.
It’s important to be aware of these scams and to never provide personal information or pay any fees to release unclaimed commission. If you receive a call or email claiming to be from LIC and offering to release unclaimed commission, contact LIC directly to verify the authenticity of the offer before taking any action.
It’s important to be cautious when dealing with LIC policies and agents, and to always verify the authenticity of any job offers or investment opportunities before investing money or providing personal information.