Scammers clone teenager's voice, threaten kidnapping
Occurred: April 2023
A mother has said someone tried to scam her by cloning her daughter Brie's voice and claiming to have kidnapped her, and demanded GBP 1 million for her safe return.
Jennifer DeStefano said she had been '100 percent' convinced that Brie was sobbing on the line after she had heard her voice in the background of the call begging her mother to help. She only realised it was a scam when a friend caller her husband to confirm that Brie was safe.
With deepfake voice cloning technologies widely available on the internet, often for free, voice fraud has risen fast. In 2021, Dubai investigators discovered an elaborate scam in which deepfake technology was used to clone the voice of a company director and defraud his company of USD 35 million.
Jennifer DeStefano (2023). Witness testimony to US Senate Sub-Committee on Human Rights and the Law
Jennifer DeStefano (2023). Written statement to US Senate Sub-Committee on Human Rights and the Law (pdf)
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Published: May 2023
Last updated: June 2023