'I've got your daughter': Mother warns of AI voice cloning scam after fake kidnapping

Jennifer DeStefano received a terrifying phone call, claiming her daughter was kidnapped, but it was actually Artificial Intelligence. Credit: YouTube / AZFamily

A mother has told of how a scammer appeared to use artificial intelligence (AI) to clone her daughter's voice to make her believe her child had been kidnapped.

Jennifer DeStefano from Arizona said she received a call in which her daughter could be heard crying, apparently having been captured by a group of men who demanded money.

The initially demanded $1 million (£800,000) but later lowered their demand to $50,000 (£40,000).

She said when she picked up her phone she heard her "daughter's voice" telling her: "Mom, I messed up" between sobs.

DeStefano told AZFamily that she then heard a man's voice who warned her daughter to "put your head down. Lie down".

She said: “This man gets on the phone, and he’s like, ‘Listen here. I’ve got your daughter. This is how it’s going to go down.

"You call the police, you call anybody, I’m going to pop her so full of drugs. I’m going to have my way with her, and I’m going to drop her off in Mexico.’

"And at that moment, I just started shaking. In the background, she’s going, ‘Help me, Mom. Please help me. Help me,’ and bawling.”

The voice Stefano heard was apparently a clone of her daughter's voice created using AI.

“It was never a question of who is this? It was completely her voice. It was her inflection. It was the way she would have cried,” she said.

“I never doubted for one second it was her. That’s the freaky part that really got me to my core.”

It turned out her daughter was in her room all along, totally oblivious to the terrifying call her mother received.

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