Conmen using increasingly sophisticated AI to scam people online, MPs told | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

Conmen are using artificial intelligence (AI) to dupe people into sending them money online, fraud victims have told MPs.

On Wednesday, the Home Affairs Committee heard claims that social media companies are not doing enough to tackle fraudsters utilising the latest AI technology.

Anna Rowe had a three-month romance with a “catfish” who lied about who he was on dating app Tinder.

Afterwards, she helped set up the fraud centre and think tank, LoveSaid, to help others caught in similar, sometimes financial, scams.

She told MPs that conmen have cloned voices so successfully that the fakes were nearly indistinguishable from the real.

Deep fakes have emerged too, she said, which are highly realistic videos or images that have been generated by AI.

Ms Rowe, from Canterbury, Kent, told the committee: “We’ve moved to deepfakes which are far more convincing.

“Now, I’m getting AI voice cloning. I’ve just had a victim send me the first one to listen to and I was shocked at how good it was.

“I could pick up a few nuances because I knew what I was looking for, but for a victim that had no idea that that technology existed, it was enough for her to believe and send money.

“When it’s only online, the scammers go even further to back up the lies, to make sure that victim is completely beholden to them.

“AI is a really huge part of that moving forward.”

About 70% of bank frauds begin on social media, said Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness, Simon Fell.

Ms Rowe claimed that about half of accounts are fake on social networking sites like Facebook and X, formerly known as Twitter.

LoveSaid was cofounded by Tinder Swindler victim, Cecilie Fjellhoy, who featured in the Netflix documentary on the convicted conman Simon Leviev.

London-based Norwegian Ms Fjellhoy joined Ms Rowe to tell the committee that social media platforms are profiting from fraudsters.

Asked by Mr Fell if companies are doing enough to stop fraud, Ms Fjellhoy said: “If you ask (social media companies) a question about this, they say, ‘it’s so difficult, there’s new technology, (scammers are) so quick.’

“Almost like they’re just giving up, they don’t have any (financial) losses for this, you know.

“Then we turn to the banking industry who have losses. They’re saying this is a big issue and we need help.

“You feel like you’re banging your head against them and they say, ‘well, we’re doing everything’, maybe they put up some posters on safe dating, but they have the wrong priorities.

“I feel they get ad revenue from the number of dating profiles, so why would they remove them?”

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