Scammers can now duplicate a family member or friend's voice! Seriously.

Here's a quick look at one way scammers use Artificial Intelligence to rip you off.

Being prepared helped Jane avoid the latest tool used in impersonation scams - AI voice cloning.

Jane is sitting on her couch when her cellphone rings. She answers it and puts the call on speakerphone.

Jane: Hey, sis, how are you?

Scammer (sounding like Jane's sister, Emily): Jane, I'm in trouble. I need your help.

Jane: What's wrong, Emily? Are you okay?

Scammer: I got into an accident. I don't have enough money to cover the repairs. Can you wire me $2,000?

Jane: That's a lot of money, Emily. Why don't you use your insurance?

Scammer: I can't. It's a long story. Please, I'm desperate.

Jane: Wait a minute. Where are you right now?

Scammer: I'm at a repair shop in another city. They won't let me leave until I pay them.

Jane: What's the shop's name and address?

Scammer: It's, uh, Jack's Auto Repair ... 123 Maple Street.

Jane: Give me a minute.

Jane pulls out her laptop and starts typing. She finds Emily's Facebook page and sees a post from an hour ago, showing Emily at a local cafe.

Jane: You won't believe what I found, "Emily." You're at a cafe with friends, not at a repair shop.

Scammer: No, no, that's not true! It's me. I'm your sister!

Jane ends the call and dials another number.

Jane: Hey sis, I've got a wild story for you.

AI Voice Cloning

Although the caller sounded exactly like Emily, Jane realized she wasn't talking to her sister.

Two clues made Jane suspicious of the caller. First, Emily hadn't mentioned any plans to travel out of town before the call. Second, Emily hadn't used her emergency code word. Jane and Emily are among the growing number of family members who use location services available on most mobile devices and code words for emergencies to stay safe.

Being prepared helped Jane avoid the latest tool used in impersonation scams - AI voice cloning.

How AI Voice Cloning Scams Work

With the use of AI voice cloning programs, scammers have taken the impersonation scam to a whole new level. Like technologically advanced bees with evil intentions, they use sophisticated AI tools to extract money from their victims. These bad actors feed audio clips of a family member's voice into the program, often taken from online content, and trick people into thinking they're talking to a loved one.

How to Avoid AI Voice Cloning Scams

First: set up a secret family or close friend password. Or have a password for both! And make sure you're talking to the real person when you do that.

Second, if you have a mobile device, use its service location app. Most iPhone and Android products come with the app preinstalled. While instructions vary, users can typically turn this feature on or off by accessing the device's privacy & security settings.

When the feature is turned on, location information is automatically shared with trusted individuals you've selected from your contact list. Stay in charge of who can see your location details by reading and understanding the app's privacy controls.

What if you get a suspicious call before you've set up a password? Easy! Hang up! Yes, even if it sounds like Nana's sweet voice or the bubbly, infectious tone of your BFF. No voice is safe from high-tech trickery.

And of course, check out our resources right here to help you!

You can also report suspected AI scams to the Federal Trade Commission.

Don't let a verbal imposter trick you into sending them money. Remember to listen to "urgent" calls with a dose of healthy skepticism. It could help you avoid falling for voice doppelgängers.