As Valentine’s Day approaches, cybersecurity experts issue a chilling warning: romance scams are on the rise in India, with a staggering 66 per cent of individuals falling victim to deceptive online dating schemes.
In a shocking revelation, it has been disclosed that in 2023 alone, 43 per cent of Indians became prey to AI voice scams, resulting in a financial loss for 83 per cent of those targeted.
A recent report by Tenable, the exposure management company, highlights the evolution of romance scams, blending traditional tactics with cutting-edge technologies like generative AI and deepfakes.
The findings underscore a disconcerting reality: AI-generated deepfakes have reached a level of sophistication where more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of Indians struggle to differentiate between artificial and genuine human voices.
Exploiting these advancements, scammers craft convincing personas for romance scams, with celebrity impersonations, particularly targeting older demographics, becoming alarmingly prevalent.
Platforms like Facebook unwittingly serve as breeding grounds for these fraudulent activities, creating a false sense of security for victims before orchestrating deceitful schemes.
Chris Boyd, a staff research engineer at Tenable, issues a stern warning against moving conversations to private platforms where security is compromised. “Regardless of AI involvement, caution is key,” Boyd advises.
Of particular concern are vulnerable individuals, especially older widows or those with memory loss, systematically targeted by these criminals.
The report emphasizes the importance of scrutinizing requests for money from new connections and carefully examining photographs and videos for signs of manipulation.
“Increasing awareness and remaining vigilant are our strongest defences against these heartless manipulations, safeguarding love seekers from the treacherous web of AI-enhanced deception,” concludes Boyd.