This is all kinds of effed up: There’s a scary new scam parents have to worry about. People are now using A.I. to clone kids’ voices and pretend they’ve been KIDNAPPED. (!!!)
It just happened to a mom in Arizona named Jennifer DeStefano. She got a call from a weird number. And when she picked up, she heard her 15-year-old daughter SOBBING on the other end.
It was so convincing, she never even questioned if it was real or not. Her daughter said, “Mom, I messed up.” Then she could hear her crying in the background, and a man said he’d take her to Mexico if he didn’t get $1 million. When she said she didn’t have that much, he said $50,000.
Jennifer was at her other kid’s dance class when it happened, and other parents who were listening in freaked out. One called 911 while another called Jennifer’s husband.
Thankfully, he was able to confirm their daughter was safe. She was upstairs in her bedroom, totally fine. The whole thing lasted about four minutes.
Cloning someone’s voice is really easy now. You only need a three or four-second clip of them to do it. So even a short TikTok video would be enough.
Experts say all you can do is be suspicious about any calls coming from a weird number. And question anyone who’s pressuring you to send money right away.
A reporter talked to a professor at Arizona State who specializes in A.I. He said that unfortunately, you can’t even trust your own ears anymore.
An FBI spokesman said that if it happens to you, report it. They DO look into calls like this and sometimes find the people. It’s not clear if they’ve got any leads in Jennifer’s case or not.