Deep Bench: New scam uses voice cloning

(WZAW) -- Everyone knows to be on the lookout for phony emails, especially at work. But what about voicemail? New voice-mimicking software is now being used by scammers to create convincing voicemail messages.

Here's how the scam works:

You get a voicemail from your boss, instructing you to wire thousands of dollars to a vendor for a rush project. While the request is out of the blue, it’s the boss’s orders, so you make the transfer.

A few hours later, you see your boss and confirm that you sent the payment. But there’s one big problem; your manager has no idea what you are talking about! It turns out that the message was a fake.

Scammers used new technology to mimic your boss’s voice and create the recording. This “voice cloning” technology has recently advanced to the place where anyone with the right software can clone a voice from a very small audio sample.

Susan Bach, regional director for the Better Business Bureau joined NewsChannel 7 via Skype on Friday. She said businesses are the most common places to see this con, but it likely won’t stop there. However, the technology could also be used for emergency scams, which prey on people’s willingness to send money to a friend or relative in need, on a home or cellphone voice message.

According to the BBB, the U.S. now in the midst of the 2020 election season, so scammers could use the technology to mimic candidates’ voices and drum up donations.