Opening hours: 8am to 6pm
+06 48 48 87 40
La Défense, Paris

The Nightmare Of

The AI-Run Scam Call Center


“Every year around the world, thousands of fraud call centers bilk millions of victims out of billions of dollars. Whether it’s tech support, investments, romance scams or a dozen other variants, the impact on victims can be devastating, with many losing their life savings. And with little recourse or resolution.


For the operators of these call centers, their biggest cost, and weakness, are the people who make the scam calls. We should be concerned if AI is used to replace those callers,

In one operation alone, Interpol identified nearly 1,800 scam call centers operating in 75 countries. And every day, real people show up to these centers to make real calls to real victims. And that’s quite often their weakness.

All those fraudulent call makers not only have to be paid, every month, but also persuaded to keep quiet. To not sell out the operators of these call centers to the authorities.

The centers are also vulnerable to police raids, attacks by local criminal groups, or even rival groups stealing their call center talent.

And of course, all those people and phones and computers need lighting and heating and cooling. It’s a big investment and often a headache to manage. But it’s still worth it.

A small scam operation can generate half a million dollars a month and in one recent case, an authorized Apple dealer in India ran a scam call center from the same office and was making more than $100,000 per day.

But the people part is often the best way, the telltale, for victims to recognize that it’s a scam call in the first place. Is the caller with a deep Indian accent really Robin Smith calling from Microsoft in Seattle WA? Or is that 20-year-old scammer from Lagos Nigeria really Chuck Williams calling from a wealth management company in Wisconsin wanting to talk to you about crypto investment opportunities?

AI is a gift for the criminals behind these centers because it not only threatens to put all these call centers into overdrive, but to eliminate one of the weakest links. All those people. Some scams centers employ upwards of 200 people to make these calls every day.

Conversational AI is developing so rapidly, soon not only will all those poorly-paid locals be out of a job, but AI will make those calls even more convincing, devastating, and costly.

AI will be able to eliminate the telltale giveaway of the thick accent, able to speak to any victim in their native language and even dialect, and sound perfect in every way.

The AI chat agent be able to develop friendships and trust, look for clues about background or mood from the conversations, inject snippets from the latest news to make themselves feel real. AI can also inject things like tone, gender, a local accent, slang, emotion, humor. And it will never get tired, never need to go home for the night, never call in sick, never need a coffee or bathroom break.

There’ll be no need to constantly recruit, train, and supervise new people, or to have to constantly encourage, motivate, or even threaten them. And no scripts to write, teach, rehearse, or update.

The call center won’t have to be run from expensive albeit rundown factories in Indian slums, where the dozens of people coming and going every day are another giveaway. And no banks of expensive computers, communications, phone systems, and all their essential support and maintenance.

Instead, a global call center capable of calling millions of victims every single day could be based in a single room, housing a handful of computers, and without the intervention of a single human.

So what will that mean? What we’ve been suggesting all along. SAP: Scale, Accuracy, and Plausibility. But more than that, the almost complete elimination of the costs and risks that are usually the biggest threat to these operations.

That also means more victims, bigger payoffs and profits, and lower costs to start and operate. Which means even greater incentive for more criminals to set up more of these call centers.”

Neal O’Farrell, founder of the Center for AI Crime

Inside the world of the scam call center

This captivating documentary takes a deep look at some of India’s notorious scam and fraud call centers, including conversations with people who work there.

Interpol’s Crackdown On Scam Call Centers

In 2022 Interpol led a two-month crackdown on scam fraud centers around the world in partnership with law enforcement in more than 70 countries.

Codenamed First Light 2022, police in participating countries raided national call centers suspected of running all kinds of fraud operations including telephone deception, romance scams, e-mail deception, and connected financial crime.

The initial results?

  • 1,770 locations raided worldwide
  • 3,000 suspects identified
  • 2,000 operators, fraudsters and money launderers arrested
  • 4,000 bank accounts frozen
  • $50 million worth of illicit funds intercepted

Will it make a difference? Sadly no. Raids like this are only expected to accelerate the move to AI to make it almost impossible to find and track these call centers.

Read more about the operation here.



We’ve already identified more than 20 different ways AI is already accelerating and scaling scams and fraud.