Nomorobo founder Aaron Foss has announced a new upgrade in the company’s fight to counter so-called “deepfake” and imposter robocall messages.
The upgraded system, called Nomorobo Max, has been in development for 16 months and screens every incoming call based on a “fingerprint” of your contact list.
Instead of collecting every number and name on your list, “Max” compares incoming calls with the numbers on your phone contact list.
“Only the good calls get through and all 100% of the bad calls are kept out,” Foss told News 6.
Foss said the most unique deception in the robocalls arena uses so-called “deepfakes,” or actual duplicates of human voices, which in the last few months have even included a spot-on imitation of President Joe Biden himself.
“They can duplicate anybody’s voice and make them say anything that these criminals want them to say,“ Voss said from his New York office.
An audio deepfake is basically a ‘cloned’ voice, made using artificial intelligence, or AI. There are some systems that claim to be able to duplicate a voice in as little as five seconds, according to Foss.
“This is not your grandmother’s robocalls from a couple of years ago,” Foss said. ”Robocalls are the weapon of choice because it’s so easy. That’s the way the (cellphone) network is set up.”
As News 6 has previously reported, the endgame of every robocall scheme is to steal your money.
The duplicate of Biden’s voice tells the consumer, “You’re indeed a selected winner of $18.5 million with the American Cash Award.”
Another message using what sounds like a deepfake male voice welcomes you to different groups, like Publishers Clearing House, Mega Millions and the Multi-State Lottery Association.
“You’ll be awarded with a total cash prize of $4,500, $5,000 a week for life and a brand-new Mercedes Benz,” the robocall said in part.
Deepfakes aside, Foss provided News 6 with an impressive range of robocall imposter recordings that included a woman thanking the consumer “for your purchase from Amazon” and a very convincing message from PayPal.
“All unknown calls that come into your home are sent over to us for deep screening,” Foss said. “We tell you who called.”
The Federal Trade Commission said imposters are starting to target military veterans and their families.
The FTC offers a few tips to avoid falling for the schemes.
- Know that nobody legitimate will ever contact you out of the blue, demanding money or information. Hang up. It’s a scam.
- Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers know how to fake caller ID so it looks like a real phone number. Even if it has a real name, don’t trust it.
- Never pay anyone who demands payment by wire transfer, gift card or cryptocurrency. Only scammers tell you to pay that way. Hang up if it’s a call. If it’s an email, text or message on social media, don’t click any links.
Don’t forget to report any fraudster that has targeted you to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The Nomorobo Max system is available now for a 14-day free trial. For more information click here.
You can also check Youmail, another robocall blocking software, here.