Neptune Navigate Blog

Tips for online safety, security, and responsible digital citizenship for parents, kids, and families.

NavAlert – Mom Warns Of AI Voice Cloning Scam That Faked Kidnapping

April 17, 2023

Jennifer Destefano is warning people after receiving a phone call from an unknown number while her daughter was on a ski trip. The caller claimed to have kidnapped her daughter and demanded a ransom. It even sounded like her daughter was crying for help. Destefano was terrified, but she was soon able to confirm that her daughter was safe and that the caller was using an AI-generated voice clone.

Scammers are increasingly using AI to create realistic-sounding voice recordings and all it takes to clone a voice is a 3-second video or audio clip which can be found on social media.

Former FBI special agent, Jennifer Coffindaffer says that while these types of scams are prevalent, kidnappings do not typically happen this way so it’s important to keep a level head and do the following:

  • Record the phone call from your phone or take notes
  • When you get off the phone, immediately call the person they said was in danger to verify they are alright.
  • Establish a family “panic” code or word so that you’ll know whether something is legitimate or not.
  • Utilize tracking services on smartphones so you know where your loved ones are.

Read more about this story in the link HERE, and hear more from the experts on this growing issue in the link HERE.