San Jose woman heats up over AI scandal – NBC Bay Area

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A terrifying new scam is using artificial intelligence to trick people by creating a clone of a loved one's voice. That's exactly what happened to a San Jose mom who recently lost hundreds of dollars.

Several weeks ago, Levier Hernandez picked up the phone and heard his 20-year-old daughter screaming on the other line.

It was a call from a New Jersey number. A man's voice identified himself as a drug trafficker, and explained that Hernandez's daughter had witnessed a drug deal and had kidnapped her.

Then he demanded thousands of dollars. Otherwise, he threatened, he would take his daughter to Tijuana and Hernandez would never see her again.

So she followed the voice's direction to a nearby money transfer service in San Jose, first depositing $400 in the name of a woman in Tultepec, Mexico.

Hernandez told the man she had all the cash — but she says she then heard her daughter scream, pleading for help. She managed to come up with the rest of the money, and then transferred it to the same woman.

Hernandez never heard from him again.

Finally, she called her daughter's cell phone — and realized she had always been safe. The call was a hoax.

“We talked to this money transfer service and they tell us this is not the first fraud case they've seen here,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Gilberto Lujan added. has given people the ability to have no prior technical experience, or deep technical experience, to make these attacks.”

Lujan works with the Cyber ​​Security Squad in the San Francisco Division of the FBI. He said the bureau is now looking at extortion cases like Hernandez's where the crime scene is a virtual one. This makes it difficult to track leads.

In fact, Hernandez said that's exactly what a family friend — who happened to be a police officer — told him, which is why he didn't officially report it to San Jose police.

When NBC Bay Area contacted the number that called it, it was already disconnected.

Still, the FBI recommends reporting such incidents to local authorities.

Some Bay Area tech companies are also stepping in to help.

“Our models can actually detect whether a piece of content is AI-generated, even if the human eye can't tell,” said Hive CEO Kevin Goh. said

Hive — based in San Francisco — is a free online tool that can tell you if an image or audio is authentic.

While it may not always help in a moment of panic — as in Hernandez's case — Gow recommends trying to have a long conversation with the person who claims to be their loved one.

“So if you ask that person some questions, can they really respond immediately in that role, in that voice,” Gu said. “Usually they're pre-recorded, right? 'Cause it's so expensive to produce.

Now Hernandez hopes that no one else has to go through what she went through, and hopes that those who cheated on her will one day face consequences.

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