ST. LOUIS – Scammers have a new tool in their arsenal: Artificial intelligence. On July 11, the U.S. Senate had its first classified briefing on AI and how the technology could be applied to national security.

“Elected representatives in 2023 cannot afford to be in the dark about how AI works and how it’s going to reshape our world,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Two days later, the Federal Communications Commission held a workshop on the challenges AI brings to vital consumer issues like robocalls. One of the experts at the FCC event was Greg Bohl, Chief Data Officer for Transaction Network Services. TNS analyzes more than 1.3 billion calls daily to uncover robocall trends and tactics. FOX 2 spoke with Bohl about how cybercriminals are using AI-cloned voices to scam loved ones out of money.

“They’ll take a recording, possibly off your voicemail, and make it sound like this relative of yours,” Bohl said. “They’ll say, ‘Help me, or they’ll be crying, or something like that.”

He said these scams are likely occurring every day in the St. Louis area. In June, 22 million spam calls were identified in Missouri. Six million of those calls targeted the 314 area code. Bohl said there are easy steps you can take to prevent your family from becoming victims.

“A safe word if your family knows that or some detail that only your family knows; therefore, the scammer won’t know how to respond to that,” Bohl said.

Bohl claims that the way telecom providers, regulators, and policymakers are working together to take more aggressive action is encouraging as AI scam tactics evolve. Just last week, the Federal Trade Commission and 101 other U.S. and state law enforcement authorities announced “Operation Stop Scam Calls,” a nationwide crackdown on illegal and unwanted robocalls and telemarketing calls.

“There’s a lot of activities essentially from top down all the way through the carriers to make sure that the consumer has a better experience with their phone calls and is being protected,” Bohl said.

A real-life effort to stop deep fake crime.