A survey by McAfee revealed that about 47 per cent of Indian adults have experienced or know someone who has experienced some kind of AI voice scam, which is almost double the global average of 25 per cent. It noted that 83 per cent of Indian victims said they had a loss of money- with 48 per cent losing over ₹50,000. 

It explained that everybody’s voice is unique, the spoken equivalent of a biometric fingerprint, which is why hearing somebody speak is such a widely accepted way of establishing trust. But with 86 per cent of Indian adults sharing their voice data online or in recorded notes at least once a week (via social media, voice notes, and more), cloning how somebody sounds is now a powerful tool in the arsenal of a cybercriminal. 

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McAfee’s research reveals scammers are using AI technology to clone voices and then send a fake voicemail or voice note or even call directly the victim’s contacts pretending to be in distress – and with 69 per cent of Indian adults not confident that they could identify the cloned version from the real thing, it’s no surprise that this technique is gaining momentum.

66 per cent of the Indian respondents said they would reply to a voicemail or voice note purporting to be from a friend or loved one in need of money. Particularly, if they thought the request had come from their parent, spouse, or child. Messages most likely to elicit a response were those claiming that the sender had been robbed - 70 per cent, was involved in a car incident - 69 per cent, lost their phone or wallet - 65 per cent or need help while travelling abroad - 62 per cent.  

The survey also found that the rise of deep fakes and disinformation has led to people being more wary of what they see online, with 27 per cent of Indian adults saying they’re now less trusting of social media than ever before and 43 per cent being concerned over the rise of misinformation or disinformation.