Legal Issue Opinions

Scamming and AI – our new impending doom…

by Yana A. St. Clair, Esq.

Legal Issue

As with every new technological breakthrough, the helpful elements come hand in hand with malicious consequences. They make our lives a lot easier and too complicated on the other side.

Scamming has been an ongoing concern over the last couple of decades.  With the rise of technology people are becoming increasingly vulnerable to scams of all kinds.  The most common, starting a long ago, have involved individuals calling an unsuspecting victim’s houseline, or more frequently as of late cell phone, and claiming that there is some type of issue with the person’s bank account, Amazon or Apple account, you name it. 

There are even calls from a telephone number that shows up on your caller ID as “Government” or “United States of America,” where an individual claiming to be calling from an official entity, tells the person being scammed that their Social Security Number is being cancelled, which doesn’t happen by the way, and that they have to provide some detailed information in order to maintain any and all legality. It’s absurd, and obviously untrue, but sadly way too often, way too many people, end up falling for these scams, especially if they are not too street smart, or savvy.

Now obviously these scams are just as frequently executed through email, or even snail mail, where you get a notification that, say, your Netflix account has been suspended and you need to click on the following several links, and provide the following information, in order to have it reinstated.  And again, way too often, way too many people fall for it. And what happens as a result? Well, they get your credit card number, address, social security number, and whatever else you mistakenly give them, and now you’ve got yourself a sweet case of identity theft. And now?  Well, now they can open a number of new accounts in your name, max them out, get you to the brink of bankruptcy, and good luck proving it wasn’t you.  Either way, it’s very stressful, costly, time consuming, and overall unpleasant.

But this will never happen to me you say.  I’m smart.  I’m savvy.  I know better.  I would never fall for such a silly scam. Ture. I agree.  Maybe that used to be you. But now, let’s bring everyone’s new best friend, AI, into the picture.  AI is not only a researcher’s or college student’s most convenient aid when it comes to, you know, cheating a little when you don’t have time to do your own work (seriously it’s true, let’s face it), it’s also every scammer’s number one tool. And it’s available to everyone!! And it’s easy to use!!

It used to be that scammers in certain countries of ill repute with these situations would need to hold giant offices filled with phone banks and actual individuals spending all day sending messages to sad lonely ladies from affluent countries in an attempt to get them to pork over some of their fortune, or at least pay for a couple of iPads.  But that’s time consuming, and you have to pay your “employees.”  Not to mention, and I’ve done my research and there are countless documentaries, these victimized women occasionally become concerned, and that’s pretty much the only time that they do, when they are not able to talk to their promised fiancé on the phone, or over some video chat medium. 

Well, not anymore!! With AI all of these concerns are a thing of the past! Now you can not only mimic a voice, face and accent of your choosing, you can imitate a specific one.  Say someone calls you in the middle of the night, it’s your daughter, it’s her voice, you Facetime, it’s her face! And she tells you she’s in trouble and she need you out to send her $2,000 on CashApp because she hit a car, and Oh My God she forgot to pay her insurance and what is she going to DO!! Well, you have to think fast, and you try to be rational, but she’s freaking out. So, you do it…

This isn’t as crazy as it sounds.  And yes, it can happen to any of us.  Just in a recently much publicized story, a robocall impersonating President Joe Biden reached out to New Hampshire voters urging them not to vote in the presidential primary.  

So how do you protect yourself? Well, that’s a topic for another article. But in the meantime, my advice, and perhaps motto these days, always is, don’t believe anything you see, or hear. . .

Disclosure: Please note that none of the information contained within the above column is to be considered legal advice.


Yana is an American attorney licensed to practice in all State and Federal courts of California.  Yana holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science specializing in International Relations from UCLA, the Degree of Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Ashford University.  Since the beginning of her undergraduate studies, Yana has been involved in various aspects of the field of Electrical Engineering, where she employs her business and legal knowledge to consulting and advising businesses and individuals on relevant topics of concern. Yana also serves as Editor for PACWorld magazine, having been with the publication since its inception.  As an attorney, Yana specializes in criminal defense, where she devotes her talents and expertise to fighting for her clients’ rights and freedom.