Home » Welcome To The Dark Side: How Artificial Intelligence Is Being Exploited In Financial Scams

Welcome To The Dark Side: How Artificial Intelligence Is Being Exploited In Financial Scams

by Guirguis & Gibbs Inc.

As a kid growing up in the 1980s, popular movies & television shows such as “The Terminator” or “Knight Rider” portrayed machines that could operate independently from humans.

The idea that one day we could use this technology by merely speaking into our cellphones and utilizing a virtual assistant, locking our technology devices with facial recognition software, or hailing a ride with a self-driving vehicle would have been unthinkable all those years ago. Now, nearly everyone has the opportunity to interact with artificial intelligence on a daily basis. 

As positive advancements are constantly being made in this area of technology, the opportunity to exploit it for evil purposes is growing along with it. Artificial intelligence is being used in conjunction with financial fraud, creating a potent combination of manipulation and theft. Taxpayers are beginning to find themselves in the middle of this new battle, trying to fight an innovative threat that is becoming more sophisticated while those who are unaware of its capabilities remain vulnerable. These are some of the many ways fraudsters are using artificial intelligence to gain access to your money:

  1. Phishing Attacks: Although these have been around for years, scammers are now able to leverage artificial intelligence to mimic legitimate email correspondence from financial institutions or government agencies. The intent is to lure taxpayers into revealing personal and sensitive information such as a social security number or banking credentials.
  2. Deepfake Technology: Artificial intelligence has the ability to create fake audio or video recordings to impersonate authoritative figures, such as a government official or a bank representative. This now gives scammers greater leverage to convince taxpayers into revealing personal information about themselves.
  3. Chatbots: If you have ever interacted with a business’ online customer service chat function, you have most likely communicated with a chatbot. Scammers can now establish a chatbot to engage with taxpayers in a seemingly authentic conversation in order to obtain their financial details.
  4. Identity Theft: Although this is not a new concept, the way in which this has evolved is becoming very concerning. Scammers are creating these fake identities by combining real and fake information to create new personas, which they can use to open a new bank account or conduct other forms of fraudulent transactions. 

Given the above ways artificial intelligence is being used to assist scammers in extracting financial information from taxpayers, there are several simple ways everyone can protect themselves from falling victim to these scams:

  1. Education: Being big advocates for educating clients on tax and financial matters, we also inform clients how to protect themselves from falling prey to scams. Constantly update yourself about the latest scams, techniques and most importantly being aware of the warning signs can help you from becoming a victim.
  2. Verification: Always make sure you can verify the authenticity of the person you are communicating with. You can do this by using official contact information on legitimate websites or if the business has a physical location, you can easily visit, then do so.
  3. Two-Factor Authentication: Whenever possible, always enable two-factor authentication as an extra layer of security on all of your accounts to make it harder for unauthorized individuals to gain access to your data.
  4. Regularly Monitor Your Accounts: Keep a close eye on your accounts and open any and all mail from institutions where you conduct your banking activities, hold your investments or receive regular notices from credit monitoring agencies. 
  5. Emotional Control: This one sounds easy but tends to be the most difficult to do. Any scammer will try and make you panic, causing you to throw caution to the wind. By maintaining emotional control over a situation, you can think clearly and process things a lot better, giving you an instant edge against someone who is trying to catch you off guard.

Related Article: Employee Retention Credit Audits – What You Need to Know

Artificial intelligence does provide opportunities to help us throughout our daily life, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Taxpayers armed with knowledge and use proactive measures can easily combat scammers who attempt to steal their money or identities. As time progresses, an increasing amount of security measures will be developed to mitigate the negative impact of artificial intelligence on fraudulent activities. However, it remains essential for taxpayers to remain vigilant, adapt to new threats and stay informed in order to best combat this new frontier of financial scams.  

     For more information on how to best protect yourself & financial well-being, feel free to reach out to us directly.    

Guirguis & Gibbs Inc. is located at 27819 Smyth Drive Floor 2. Valencia, CA 91355. Give us a call at (661) 209-3287.

*Mark Guirguis is a Registered Representative of Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult your tax and/or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Financial Specialists LLC nor any of its affiliates offer tax or legal services.

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