NEW YORK (WABC) -- Christmas is a time when criminals will capitalize on all that shopping and shipping we are doing, especially in this last minute rush before Monday.
It is easy to get Grinched by a spam call or text. In the last year alone, Americans lost $9.8 billion to phone cons alone.
7 On Your Side uncovered a disturbing development on how artificial intelligence (AI) is making it is easier for scammers to make us all believe they are real.
You may have seen the spoofs of celebrities which are actually computer generated artificial intelligence imposters which look so real.
AI is in the hands of bad actors who are quickly changing the way scam calls looks and sound and its working to fool us out of more money every minute.
The red flag warnings of scam texts include misspellings, bad, grammar, or suspicious diction are quickly being replaced with calls or texts that look and sound, like the girl next door.
"Hello, we are calling to help you with your health insurance. We offer plans with no deductibles," a call said.
Giula Porter is the Vice President of Robokiller, the spam blocking app which helped get rid of those annoying phony "Rosie with your auto Warranty calls."
She says generative AI makes it easy for a caller around the world to fool you.
"With data breaches leaking our personal info, Robokillers premium subscription allows members to see exactly where and how many times your mobile numbers been exposed plus removes the digits," Porter said.
If you want to protect yourself, just delete texts which warn about delivery or account problems and go directly to the source.
Hang up on any caller that contacts you saying that they are the IRS, or that promises prizes in contests that you never entered. It's AI insults your IQ.
Anything that sounds or looks too good to be true is usually just that.
The good news is, less of us are falling victim to scam calls and texts. We are getting better at recognizing it.
The bad news is, when we do get scammed it's for a lot more - about $700 per person.
Remember always verify and never call back the number which contacts you, they can be easily spoofed.