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Michael Jesso’s Fabulous, Derailed – How safe are you online?

With scams, hacks and clones dominating our social media feeds in recent months, we should all sit back and rethink what we share and participate with online.

Lately it seems everything that comes across our feeds is a share that either tugs at our heartstrings or promises us an unclaimed vehicle, and it’s getting harder and harder to identify the scam.

Let’s start with the simple things like free motor homes or unclaimed cars and trucks. Liking and sharing those pages isn’t so much a scam as they are a nuisance.  While those posts collect large audiences for the page, four to five months later, those pages are wiped clean of what you liked and come back as ad pages offering something completely different.

The more sinister scams that are on fire right now are fake profiles posting pictures of hurt animals on local Marketplace pages, asking everyone to share to find the animal’s owner. These posts are easy to spot because the original poster always turn off comments. Never ever share these posts or any post where the original post has comments turned off.

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Another post that people copy and paste blindly are the promises of getting rid of ads and seeing all of your friends’ posts. The posts mentioned above are the number one reason your account becomes cloned.

Cloned is when a second social media account copycats you and starts sending out friend requests.  The premise here is most thar people don’t think twice about sharing or adding friends they already have. Again, a few weeks will go by and the clone account will start asking for money.  A surprising amount of people will fall for this and send money. That is why it’s so popular.

While we’re talking about keeping yourself safe on social media, it’s worthwhile to pay extra attention to the new A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) threat. While the world navigates this new technology, everything we’ve been hearing so far is scary.

While we’ve all been used to receiving scam phone calls in the past,  now more than ever, if you don’t know the number, don’t answer.  Your voice can be recorded and duplicated. There have already be phone scams involving A.I. where family members receive phone calls from A.I. pretending to be a sister or a brother and they ask to borrow money.  It’s quite possibly the most sophisticated scams have ever become.

As more and more people produce online content, especially on TikTok, all of those voices are now easy to duplicate and can be used to dupe your friends and family.  Laws aren’t clear with A.I. yet or even in place, so the line between what’s illegal and legal is blurry.

Don’t take my word for it though. Do some digging for yourself and try and stay up to date with it. I was personally surprised recently when I called my Visa company and the guy on the line let me know that my voice was verified and he knew I was the card holder. I was blown away. I didn’t even know that A.I. technology was being used for the security side of things.

Other things to pay attention to are ChatGPT and how far that technology has progressed.  In some cases, the computers have had to be erased because the A.I. wants to get out of the machine. It turns out they are so smart they don’t understand they aren’t human.

We are quite possibly at a point in time like no other in the history of the world, and only time will tell the outcome of A.I.

About the author

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Michael Jesso

A Fort McMurray staple, Michael Jesso is a renaissance man. He is an opinion-sharer, a car aficionado, a cooking show host, and a stand-up comedian.

He tells it like it is, and has his finger on the pulse of what is happening at all times. He is connected, in the know, incredibly invested in the community, and has the most contagious laugh. Not to mention the most epic party pad in all of Fort McMurray.

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