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More Criminals? More Crimes? More Victims?



We believe that the AI crimewave will mean more criminals, more crimes, and more victims. And it’s that last part that concerns us most.

All those involved with the Centre for AI Crime have a passion for supporting victims of cyber crimes and scams, all of us working with victims for decades. We’ve all witnessed first-hand how little support victims of scams and fraud have access to, in spite of the significant emotional and psychological harm to them.

We also recognize the challenge that law enforcement may be facing, as the number of victims soars and those victims turn to law enforcement for help.

And the impact can go beyond psychological and financial harm. More than 20 suicides have been connected to the growing crime of sextortion and many of those victims were teenagers.

More Than Just More Victims

AI crime won’t just mean more criminals, more crimes, and more victims, but it could also mean more complex and challenging crimes, more costly crimes, and more emotionally devastating crimes.

Instead of victims losing a few hundred dollars to a credit card fraud, for example, we’re already seeing many more stories of victims losing substantial amounts – including their life savings.

The chances of repeat victimization are also higher. AI will give criminals the opportunity to dig themselves much deeper into the lives of their victims, not only increasing the amount of potential harm they can do, but increasing the difficulty in extracting them.

And it might also become more difficult for victims to prove their innocence or at least understand how and where the crime happened.

What If No One’s Getting Their Money Back?

This can be the most traumatic point for victims, and especially if the losses are substantial and life-changing. And as the number of victims and the size of the losses continues to increase, financial institutions could be increasingly hard-pressed to make victims whole.

Many financial institutions are already struggling with lower earnings, compounded by the need to set aside more funds for potential loan losses. So they’re under increasing pressure to deny liability for any fraud losses that they’re not directly responsible for. Even if regulations say otherwise. And especially if individual losses soar from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands.

That will likely only add to the pain of the victims and the collective trauma.

The Emotional Harm

Studies over the last decade have shown that the impact on victims of scams and fraud goes far beyond the financial, and lasts longer. And this is especially true for seniors.

Victims often report:

  • Feelings of shame and guilt.
  • Feeling stupid or gullible.
  • Less willingness to trust.
  • Feeling violated, hopeless, and sad.
  • Greater anxiety and depression.
  • Greater isolation.
  • Interrupted sleep.
  • Less confidence in themselves and others.

And for senior victims, it can often mean a significant and rapid deterioration in their physical health and quality of life.


Emotional resilience as a security strategy?

If our predictions of the coming surge in AI crime are anywhere near accurate, we’re not just going to need security skills, we’re going to need very good coping skills.

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We need to do better at understanding the psychological impact

In a series of articles, Dr. Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. looks at some of the psychology and emotional harm that can be done by deepfake clones and identities, and especially to teens.



There are a number of organizations that will provide free support and counseling to victims of all kinds of scams and we will maintain a growing list here.

The Identity Theft Resource Center

The ITRC is the longest-running (since 1986) non-profit organization that provides identity crime victim assistance and education, free of charge, through a toll-free call center, live chat, website, podcasts, and social media.

We’ve worked with them for more than a decade and always recommend them as a first stop for victims.

Call them at 1-888-400-5530 or visit their website for other support and assistance options.

AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline

Their helpline is a free resource for AARP members and nonmembers alike. Trained fraud specialists and volunteers field thousands of calls each month. Get guidance you can trust, free of judgment.

Their toll-free service is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Call 877-908-3360. Or visit their support service website here.