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Quote of the Day

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."   Dr. Suess

 

Everyone knows to look for phony emails – they can appear in your email inbox or even at work. Scammers can easily make messages that appear to come from anywhere, like your boss’s email account or a close family member. But what about phone calls and voicemail? Scammers can use new AI technology to mimic the voice of someone you know and create a phone call or voicemail recording. This “voice cloning” technology has recently advanced, and anyone with the right software can clone a voice from a very small audio sample.

How the scam works
At work, you get a voicemail from your boss. They instruct you to wire thousands of dollars to a vendor for a rush project. The request is out of the blue. But 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 fake.

At home, you may receive a phone call or voicemail from a family member in an urgent situation like an accident or a medical emergency. They provide convincing details and ask for money immediately via a digital wallet payment app like Venmo or PayPal. You find out later that the story wasn’t true, and your money is gone.

A consumer recently shared on Scam Tracker, “Received call on 1-26-24 I thought it was my daughter-in-law she said Hi mom calling to say she was pulled over driving and has a broken nose and is now being. She was frantic to have me call the lawyer right away. She asked me 3 times if I wrote the name & number down. I said yes. She said she had to go right now as they are taking her. Her voice sounded just like my daughter-in-law.”

With the US now amid the 2024 election season, scammers may use the technology to mimic candidates’ voices to sway voters or potentially drum up “donations.”

How to avoid similar scams:
Resist the urge to act immediately. No matter how convincing a phone call or voicemail may sound, hang up or close the message if something doesn’t feel right. Call the person who claimed to have called you directly with the phone number you have saved for them. Don’t call back the number provided by the caller or caller ID. Ask questions that would be hard for an impostor to answer correctly.

Don’t send money if you’re in doubt. If the caller urgently asks you to send money via a digital wallet payment app or a gift card, that may be a red flag for a scam. If you wire money to someone and later realize it’s a fraud, the police must be alerted.

Secure your accounts. Whether at work or home, set up multifactor authentication for email logins and other changes in email settings. At work, verify changes in information about customers, employees, or vendors.

At work, train your staff. Create a secure culture at your office by training employees in internet security. Make it a policy to confirm all change and payment requests before transferring. Don’t rely on email or voicemail.

If you’ve been the victim of a scam, please report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help expose scammers’ tactics and prevent others from having a similar experience.

Local News

Education News

Business News

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Symbiotic Success: Small Businesses and Their Communities

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Obstacles Facing Small Businesses in the Modern Economy

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Mid-Southern Bancorp, Inc. announces its Quarterly Cash Dividend

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Government News

IN AG Sends Out $8.8 Million In Next Round Of Opioid Settlement Funds To Hoosier Communities

17 May 2024

  Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is dispensing more than $8.8 million to Indiana cities, towns and counties in the next round of opioid settlement funds distributed under his leadership.  Attorney General Rokita and his team secured these settlements from companies that allegedly contributed to the state’s opioid epidemic through ...

IN AG Warns College Officials: Hateful Antisemitic Acts Against Jewish Students Will Not Be Tolerated On Campus

15 May 2024

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Crown Hill Could See Natural Burials

15 May 2024

  By Becky Killian, Staff Writer Officials have taken the first step that could allow a section of Crown Hill Cemetery to be set aside for natural burials. The decision was made during the Monday, May 13, meeting of the Salem Common Council. Brock and Carrie Chastain, of Weathers Funeral Home, requested the changes necessary to allow natura ...

City, County Dispatch Could Merge

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IDVA Grants Available For Non-Profits That Serve Veterans: Apply by May 15

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Lifestyle News

Latest Washington County Mugshots

The following individuals were arrested recently by local law enforcement agencies. Those listed, in most cases, are just facing charges at this point, and are to be considered innocent of those charges unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. Charges are often dropped or lessened. Mugshots are collected from local law enforcement agencies on Mondays and are public records. 

 

Gavinn M. Fields
Terena S. Wheat
Brenda S. Warren
William M. Rose
Justin N. Brooks
William J. Wright
Gregory D. Lammers
Darrin W. Mitchell
Mikel S. Cleek
Tyran D. McMillian
Jon A. Arnold
Robert L. Bentel