Fijians warned of AI powered scams

December 8, 2023 12:54 pm

Director General of Cybersecurity and Communications Tupou Baravilala

Director General of Cybersecurity and Communications Tupou Baravilala warns of scammers utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance their deceptive tactics.

Presenting at the Attorney General’s Conference, Baravilala shares the emerging trend where scammers deploy AI to mimic the voices of loved ones in distress, intensifying the sophistication of their scams.

Highlighting the global prevalence of these cyber threats, Baravilala emphasizes that Fiji, like many other nations, is actively combating a spectrum of online scams.

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She says among the tactics mentioned are gifted pyramid schemes, fraudulent eBay shops, Bitcoin giveaways, crypto-currency scams, spearfishing emails, smishing (SMS phishing), and the notorious Nigerian Prince email scam.

Baravilala stresses that these cybercriminals operate on the same platforms as citizens, indiscriminately targeting everyone.

To counter this rising threat, she calls upon the public to become advocates for cyber hygiene practices and actively support community-based cybersecurity efforts.

“We cannot rely on enforcement alone. The best defence against scams is an alert, vigilant, and discerning public. Now secondly, and we’ve seen this globally, with the global economic conditions, we should anticipate more scams. The key is to spot it and not fall prey to it. This is why we need to ensure that we’re obtaining accurate information.”

Baravilala also says they have established a dedicated scam task force to tackle the evolving landscape of online threats.

The Director General for cybersecurity says the task force is led by the Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica and includes members of the Fiji Police Force, Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Online Safety Commission, Office of the Solicitor General, and the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

This initiative aims to enhance Fiji’s cyber-security capabilities and respond effectively to the dynamic tactics employed by cybercriminals.

She also urges Fijians to report cases of cybercrime if they have fallen victim to it.