The impact of voice cloning on fraud

Voice cloning is the new big thing and due to recent advances in AI computer generated audio is now said to be unnervingly exact. The software can pick up not just your accent - but your timbre, pitch, pace, flow of speaking and your breathing. The cloned voice can also be tweaked to portray any required emotion - such as anger, fear, happiness, love or boredom. Once it took hours of voice recording to clone someone's voice - now all it needs is five seconds - less than most people have on their phone answering machine recordings. Not to mention the number of videos that people post to their social media feeds. Scary stuff!

And as a result of its accuracy, and the ease of procuring just five seconds of voice material, unsurprisingly voice cloning is being very quickly adopted by fraudsters as a means to commit identify fraud. 

For instance, one example is a new property scam doing the rounds where fraudsters imitate solicitors and manage to scam home buyers out of their exchange deposit, which is now often much higher than 10 per cent of the property being bought. The level of con is so advanced that one family was asked by their bank to confirm the payment and called their solicitors using the number advertised on the website and were unaware that they were in fact talking to the people who were executing the fraud.

Fraudsters are also using voice cloning to trick the voice recognition systems used by many companies, such as banks, as a customer identifier. The issue is that this is not just for 'live' accounts, but for dormant ones too, defined as accounts that have not been touched for over three years - often these are the accounts of people that have passed away which went undetected by the executors. It is therefore critical for organisations to ensure that they update their fraud prevention processes to keep up-to-date with the new techniques being employed by fraudsters. For instance, ensuring that you have a deceased identity fraud product, such as Halo, which helps identify if any fraudulent activity is being conducted in the name of someone that has passed away. 

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