Watch out for AI scams that target seniors

An older person with a phone taking a picture

As technology advances, many seniors find it increasingly challenging to keep up. While voice AI (artificial intelligence) assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home can be helpful for many seniors, they also pose some significant dangers. One of the most significant risks of voice AI is the potential for scams targeting seniors. In this blog post, we’ll explore the dangers of voice AI and the risks of scams targeting seniors.

Voice AI: The Risks

Voice AI assistants like Alexa and Google Home are designed to make our lives easier. They can help us set reminders, play music, and order groceries. However, these devices also pose some significant risks, particularly for seniors.

One of the most significant risks of voice AI is the potential for scams. Scammers are constantly finding new ways to target seniors, and voice AI provides them with yet another avenue for exploitation. For example, scammers might call a senior and ask them to order a product through Alexa or Google Home, only to charge an excessive amount for the product or steal the senior’s credit card information.

Another risk of voice AI is the potential for accidental purchases. Seniors unfamiliar with the technology may accidentally order items through their voice AI assistants, leading to unexpected charges on their credit cards.

Finally, there is a risk of privacy violations. Voice AI assistants are always listening, meaning they may inadvertently record sensitive information that could be used against a senior. This information could include personal details like addresses, phone numbers, or credit card information.

Scams Targeting Seniors

Scammers often target seniors because they may be more vulnerable and less likely to recognize a scam. Scammers use a variety of tactics to target seniors, including phishing emails, phone calls, and even door-to-door sales. In recent years, voice AI has become another tool in their arsenal.

One common scam involves asking seniors to order a product through their voice AI assistant. The scammer might claim that the product is a “must-have” or on sale for a limited time, putting pressure on the senior to act quickly. Once the senior has ordered the product, the scammer might charge excessively or steal their credit card information.

Another scam involves posing as a trusted friend or family member. For example, the scammer might call the senior and claim to be a grandchild or other relative, asking for money or help with a supposed emergency. The scammer might then ask the senior to order a product through their voice AI assistant to transfer money or provide credit card information.

Protecting Seniors from Scams

Protecting seniors from scams is crucial, particularly in the age of voice AI. Here are some tips for protecting seniors from scams:

  1. Educate Seniors: Educate seniors about the risks of scams and how to identify them. Please encourage them to be skeptical of unsolicited phone calls or emails and never to provide personal information over the phone or online.
  2. Secure Voice AI Devices: Ensure seniors’ voice AI devices are secured with strong passwords and updated regularly. Encourage seniors only to use voice AI assistants to order products from trusted retailers.
  3. Monitor Activity: Monitor seniors’ credit card statements and voice AI assistant activity. If you notice any suspicious activity, report it immediately.
  4. Stay Connected: Staying connected with seniors can help them feel less isolated and more supported. Encourage seniors to stay in touch with friends and family members and never hesitate to ask for help if they’re unsure about a phone call or email.
  5. Report Scams: If a scam has targeted a senior, report it to the appropriate authorities immediately. This can help prevent other seniors from falling victim to the same scam.

AI can be a valuable tool for seniors but poses some significant risks. Scammers are constantly finding new ways to target vulnerable seniors, and voice AI provides them with yet another avenue for exploitation. Therefore, it’s essential for seniors, their families, and caregivers to be aware of the risks of scams targeting seniors and to take steps to protect themselves.

By staying informed about the latest scams, securing voice AI devices, and monitoring activity, seniors can reduce their risk of falling victim to a scam. Additionally, staying connected with friends and family members can help seniors feel more supported and less isolated, reducing the likelihood that they will fall victim to a scam.

If your senior family member might benefit from moving into Three Tree Vista, please contact us to start a conversation. We’d love to hear from you.