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'No legal remedy': Dad speaks out after nearly falling for $9K AI phone scam

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(NewsNation) — The Federal Trade Commission is taking on AI-generated phone scams as the ability to clone someone’s voice to trick their loved ones, is making these kinds of scams easier to fall for.

Gary Schildhorn nearly fell prey to one such scam when he received a call from what sounded like his son Brett, saying he had been in a car accident and needed $9,000 to post bail. After the call turned out to be a fake, AI-generated message from a scammer, Schildhorn decided to take his story public.

“I was in shock. I sat motionless in my car. And I said over and over again, “It was your voice Brett. It was your voice,” and that left me in a state of surprise and shock,” Schildhorn said. “It really is frightening what AI can do.”

Schildhorn joined “NewsNation Prime” to tell his story as he works to advocate for legislation that would tackle AI phone scams.

“There is no legal remedy and there doesn’t appear to be a law enforcement remedy,” Schildhorn told NewsNation. “If you educate people about these scams, they can avoid them.”

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In order to address these kinds of AI-facilitated scams, the FTC is now challenging private citizens to come up with solutions, offering a $25,000 award to anyone who can innovate a solution.

The Voice Cloning Challenge is to “promote the development of ideas to protect consumers from the misuse of artificial intelligence-enabled voice cloning for fraud and other harms,” the FTC said its a statement.

“These criminals have a risk-free platform. They can’t be found. And without legislation to remedy that, it’s an issue. It’s a foundation that we depend on that has been broken,” Schildhorn said.

Source: WFLA

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