AARP Texas Teams Up to Fight Scammers

Posted on 06/10/24

Guarding Hearts, Shielding Wallets

In matters of the heart, trust and vulnerability often intertwine, but how can you guard against fraudsters trying to take your heart and wallet, too? Safeguarding against heartless fraudsters is crucial.

Consider the case of Jerry, an 82-year-old Sugar Land, Texas resident who fell victim to an elaborate ruse. When a supposed sergeant from the San Antonio police department called, claiming Jerry’s son-in-law was in jail after causing a crash.Jerry’s compassion kicked in. After an elaborate story, Jerry was convinced to withdraw $17 thousand from his bank account to secure his family member’s release. The scammers had employed generative artificial intelligence (AI) to mimic his son-in-law’s voice convincingly.

Similarly, AI-generated profiles on dating apps and social media have entrapped unsuspecting individuals seeking love. These deepfake profiles, often portraying AI-generated women, prey on men looking for companionship. The scammers build trust, feigning interest in serious relationships, only to pivot into complex cryptocurrency investment fraud schemes.

Technology has ushered in a new era of scams with deep fakes or AI-cloned voices along with new technology making money transfers much easier. These cautionary tales resonate across Texas, with Houstonians 50+ emerging as vulnerable targets according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

AARP Texas is tackling these issue and arming Texans with resources and in-person learning opportunities.

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