Senior Citizen in Delhi Falls Victim to AI-Cloned Voice Scam, Loses ₹50,000 in Extortion

New Delhi: Cybercriminals in Delhi used voice cloning technology to extort money from an elderly man. The victim, Lakshmi Chand Chawla, a senior citizen residing in Yamuna Vihar, was tricked into sending ₹ 50,000 to the scammers after receiving a ransom demand via WhatsApp, which included a child’s voice cloned using AI.

According to the police, on October 24, Mr Chawla received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number claiming his cousin’s son had been kidnapped. To convince the victim, the criminals played a voice recording of the child, created using voice cloning technology, pleading for help. Panicked and misled by the realistic voice, Mr Chawla readily complied with the scammers’ demands, transferring ₹ 50,000 via Paytm.

Upon contacting the child’s parents, the truth came to light. His cousin’s son, the supposed kidnap victim whose voice was cloned, was safe and sound at home. 

A case has been registered and a probe is underway to track down the scammers, police said.

The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data reveals that the national capital registered 685 cybercrime cases in 2022 as against 345 in 2021 and 166 in 2020.

With cybercrime rates soaring, the Delhi Police has taken a proactive approach by unveiling the five most common methods used by cybercriminals to target innocent individuals. 

According to the Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations, or Cyber Crime Unit, of the Delhi Police, these crime methods are “fake TRAI or FedEx courier company callers”, “home job or Telegram fraud”, “sextortion”, “fake family member or friend in distress”, and “OTP or link-based cheating”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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