Home SECURITY artificial intelligence against phone scams

artificial intelligence against phone scams

artificial intelligence against phone scams


Apate in touch: artificial intelligence against phone scams

A multilingual chatbot with voice synthesis professionally fools scammers, wasting their resources and time.

Every day, millions of people around the world fall victim to phone scammers who steal money and personal information from them. According to experts, in this way criminals earn about 55 billion dollars a year. But now they have a serious opponent – artificial intelligencewhich creates fake victims and turns the actions of scammers against them.

The new system is called Apate, after the Greek goddess of deceit. She uses persuasive voice generation to make conversations with real scammers. The goal is to distract them from the real people and waste the time and resources of the deceivers.

Apate was developed by cybersecurity experts at Macquarie University in Australia. Professor Dali Kaafar, executive director of the university’s cybersecurity center, said he got the idea when he received a call from a scammer while having lunch with his family. He decided to “play” with him and kept the “poor fellow” on the line for 40 minutes, entertaining his children.

“I realized that I wasted the scammer’s time so that he couldn’t get to really vulnerable people, which was his original goal. But it was also 40 minutes of my own life that I will never get back,” the professor explained. “Then I started thinking about how we could automate the whole process and use natural language processing to develop a computerized voice chatbot that could have believable conversations with scammers,” Kaafar added.

The professor said that his team has already applied for patents for this highly efficient technology. “We are excited about the huge potential of this new technology in disrupting the business model of fraudsters, making it unprofitable,” said Kaafar.

Cases of telephone fraud are successfully gaining momentum every year. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australians lost over $3.1 billion to scams in 2022.

Professor Kaafar is confident that, despite the efforts of telecom providers who have blocked more than half a billion scam calls in Australia since 2020, local residents are still drowning in these calls. And even one such call, successfully bypassing the filtering systems, can cause irreparable damage to each victim.

According to the researchers, telephone fraud is gaining momentum around the world, and there are several reasons for this. Internet voice transmission technologyVoIP) allows cybercriminals to effectively hide their real location by substituting absolutely any number for a fraudulent call. Meanwhile, updating telecommunications infrastructure and protocols to improve call authentication is resource-intensive and costly.

While many skeptics fear that artificial intelligence can do more harm than good, Australian researchers have no doubt that AI tools can prove extremely effective in the fight against cybercrime and telephone fraud, protecting the wallets of gullible citizens from cunning deceivers.


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