GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new scam going around involves artificial intelligence, also known as AI. Crooks are cloning voices to try to trick you, claiming to be a relative or a friend for criminal activity.

It’s called “voice cloning.” A few seconds of talking is all it takes for someone to clone a voice. They do it by pulling audio from social media posts or any accessible audio file that could be easily downloaded on the internet.

“Some of the most dangerous voice cloning scams that we see too involve public figures, celebrities, politicians, who you know there’s countless hours of their audio and them speaking out there,” said Nick Hill, senior digital marketing specialist with Better Business Bureau of eastern Carolinas. “And that makes it really easy for scammers to be able to clone that audio.”

Hill said it’s really difficult to know if your voice has been cloned but says there are signs to watch out for.

“If they’re asking for payment, let alone if they’re asking for a payment in a way that’s going to be un-traceable, un-coverable like Venmo, PayPal, or wire transfer, so if you hear anybody asking for that on a voicemail or social media post, then that’s a red flag,” said Hill.

It’s a good idea to avoid voice identification systems. Also be cautious of who’s on the other end of the line. Even if they claim to be a relative, friend or an official asking for documents, help or money.

“If you have any sort of suspicion when you’re getting a call or voice memo from a friend um go ahead hang up and instead call them back message them the way you normally would to see if it’s really them.

“If you’re even one bit suspicious if you’re getting a call from a real friend or a scammer, hang up. The longer you stay on the line with them, the more at risk you are going to be, the more you’re going to lose money to a scam,” said Hill.

Companies are trying to crack down on identifying voice cloning from real calls. Meanwhile, if you think you have been scammed, call local law enforcement and Better Business Bureau to notify them of what happened.