Spike in identify fraud caused by increase in technology and Artificial Intelligence, police say

A local sheriff’s office is warning about a spike in rip-offs and identity fraud.

Channel 2′s Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell spoke with Cobb County police about how technology is driving this uptick.

“Our fraud department receives complaints in person or over the phone every single day,” said Sgt. Jeremy Blake.

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Schemes are popping up across the county. Some are new, others have been around for a while but are much more believable now.

“Every time technology changes. The scammers catch up with that technology,” Blake added.

They use the names of actual employees at the sheriff’s office and call from spoof numbers.

“If you call that scam phone number back there’s a pre-recorded message that identifies as the cobb county sheriffs office,” Sgt. Blake told Channel 2 Action News.


They threaten potential victims with fines and jail time and ask for non-traditional forms of payment like gift cards or Bitcoin machines to send money.

Another old scheme to look out for is grandchildren calling their grandparents, asking for bail money.

Artificial intelligence makes the voice sound just like someone’s grandchild.

“What they are doing now is they are using AI generated voices online where they can just type the message and then the computer displays that make or female voice saying ‘hey grandma hey granddad I’m in jail’,” he said.

Investigators told Channel 2 Action News con artists are asking their victims for $300 to $5,000.

They also told Channel 2 Action News they are making arrests in identity fraud cases, but the jury duty and grandparent schemes are harder to solve because it’s difficult to trace Bitcoin transactions.

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