How are Scammers Using AI to Defraud Seniors?

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KS and MO Attorney Kyle E Krull

Written by Kyle Krull

Attorney & Counsellor at Law Kyle Krull is president of the Law Offices of Kyle E. Krull, P.A., an Estate Planning Law Firm located in Overland Park, KS. Estate Planning Attorney Kyle Krull has provided continuing education instruction to attorneys, accountants, and financial professionals at local, state, and national programs.

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POSTED ON: June 11, 2024

Scammers are using AI to make their methods of deception and fraud harder to identify.

AI is posing additional threats from elder fraud scams.

Technology continues to change rapidly.

Laptops, smartphones, streaming services, and social media are all rather recent technologies.

Fun fact: when I was growing up, everyone in the Krull household hurried to answer the ring of our only "rotary dial" telephone.


We did not know who was calling long before the advent of answering machines and caller ID.

The most recent technological advancement is artificial intelligence (AI).

Like many inventions, AI can be used for good or evil

According to a recent Fedweek report, scammers use AI to make their scams more convincing and challenging to detect.

Seniors who are experiencing mental decline are at even higher risk of elder fraud scams.

Both older individuals and families must learn how to identify and handle this new financial threat.

AI can be used to help or harm people.

AI can make identifying scams more challenging.

How are AI-Powered Scams Deceiving Seniors?

Criminals can now utilize AI to create deep-fake videos or images and clone voices.

These are generated by a special type of machine learning known as "deep."

Identifying these fake media is incredibly challenging and can allow scammers to impersonate trusted authorities, organizations, or family members.


A favorite strategy of these fraudsters is to target your real emotions with fake emergencies.

AI Elder Scam Tactics to Watch

These scammers need a few seconds of the real voice recording of an individual to pretend to be a distressed loved one in need of an immediate money transfer.

Often these impersonations are quite convincing.

Even if these pleas for help sound slightly off, the concern for a loved one can be enough to trick the victim into taking action.

Another tactic involves personalized phishing emails generated by AI.

In the past, malicious emails were consistently detected by spam filters and other tools.

With AI, criminals can better mimic real messages to make it through spam filters.

Because these methods are emotionally manipulative and sophisticated, distinguishing between fake and authentic messages is a growing challenge.

All criminals require is a small amount of personal information to scam and defraud their victims convincingly.

What Precautions Can Be Taken?

You must be vigilant to avoid falling prey to fraud.

Do not trust phone calls from unrecognized numbers.

If you see a link in an email, avoid following it.

Keep calm and rational if someone tries to tell you there is an emergency.

In some instances, you may be able to identify who is impersonating your loved ones.

Even beyond the cautionary steps listed above, you should take a few key steps to protect yourself.

What are these?

Do Not Share Personal Information.

If an unknown contact requests personal details, be cautious about disclosing the information.

Do Not Send Money Transfers.

Do not send money to unknown addresses or accounts.

Use a Keyword. 

For crisis phone call scams, establish a private keyword or passphrase within your family to verify the caller's caller's identity.

Using Elder Law and Estate Planning to Protect against Scams

The documents used in estate planning and elder law have the additional benefit of helping protect assets.

How can estate planning safeguard against fraud?

Power of Attorney

Elder fraud continues to become more prevalent.

By creating power of attorney documents, you can select a trusted person to manage your finances and block unauthorized financial transactions if you become incapacitated.

Living Trusts

Trust assets have the benefit of being owned separately from personal assets.

As a result, these can be easily managed and protected by a reliable individual.

Advanced Directives

Clear instructions can prevent unauthorized decision-making.

Secure Your Future against Elder Scams

Advanced estate planning with powers of attorneys and trusts can secure your finances.

You can request a consultation to protect yourself from scammers while simultaneously getting your affairs in order for the future.

What are Some Key Takeaways Regarding AI and Elder Fraud?

AI-Powered Scams on the Rise

Scammers use AI technology to create and execute convincing scams.

Specifically, deep fake videos and cloned voices can be tough for people to identify.

Common Targets

The cognitive decline often associated with aging makes seniors common targets for AI fraud.

Two primary methods are phishing emails and family crisis scams.

Protective Measures

Establishing a family password or phrase for emergency calls, avoiding sending money to unknown contacts, and refusing to share personal information can help you safeguard your finances.

Elder Law and Estate Planning Strategies 

Taking action to create external safeguards and taking extra steps to access assets can help keep money in your accounts.

Living trusts and powers of attorney are helpful tools in this area.

While AI has made avoiding elder fraud more complicated, you are not helpless.

Through awareness and preventative measures, you can better preserve your wealth.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. You should contact an attorney for advice concerning any particular issue or problem. Nothing herein creates an attorney-client relationship between Harvest Law KC and the reader.

Reference: Fedweek (Jan. 17, 2024), "Scams against Older Persons Now Increasingly AI-Powered, Report Says"

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