Phone scammers reported to use AI voice in Latvia

Forms of phone scam are evolving. Fraudsters with artificial intelligence are now also able to provide calls where the text of the conversation is translated directly during the call, according to mobile operator Bite, whose employee recently faced this type of phone call.

A “Bite” employee received a call while at work from a phone fraudster who said that personal bank details had been leaked. The fraudster spoke to the call recipient in their native language, which is most likely another country's language, but provided real-time translation for a smooth conversation in Latvian through artificial intelligence tools.

The company's internal security processes manager Reinis Pudāns, had earlier warned colleagues to report such calls during a phone call so that the conversation could both be recorded and asked specific questions that would allow the caller's fraudulent intentions to be identified during the call.

In a recorded phone call, the caller's voice sounds quite natural, at times, however, words are harder to understand, including pauses between responses, and not all responses are coherent.

Pudāns explained that a new form of telephone fraud has already emerged in Latvia – artificial intelligence robocalls in Latvian using artificial intelligence voice cloning technology. Such calls use pre-recorded voices of real people on the internet, handled with special artificial intelligence software, creating mimicked versions of voices. In robocalls like this, the script is pre-established, and the answers are more yes and no.

The company's customers are also increasingly reporting such calls. This suggests that the proportion of such phone-fraud calls will only increase this year. However, Pudāns repeated that if a call is received as if from a bank or other institution, sensitive data should not be disclosed.

Given technological developments, it will be near impossible to recognize these types of calls in the future, said Gints Mālkalnietis, a cybersecurity expert at At the same time, he believes, fraud schemes don't really get any benefit from this because the foundation remains the same -- fraudsters are asking people to disclose codes, passwords, give different access, download apps, and open unverified and unsafe links. That's what people fall for. It should therefore always be remembered that such information should not be disclosed to anyone.

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