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### Congress Alerted by Father Regarding AI Impersonating Brother for Fraud

Gary Schildhorn was on his way to work in 2020 when he got a phone call from someone who sounded ju…

WASHINGTON — In 2020, Gary Schildhorn received a phone call from an individual who uncannily resembled his younger brother Brett while he was on his way to work.

Recounting the incident to our Washington News Bureau, Schildhorn shared, “He was sobbing and speaking, mentioning that he had been in a car accident. His head was injured, and he had harmed a pregnant individual, leading to his arrest and subsequent incarceration.”

As an attorney based in Philadelphia, Schildhorn felt an innate urge to support his brother in any way possible.

He mentioned that he was informed that Barry Goldstein, a public defender, was representing his brother.

Allegedly, Goldstein, posing as a fictitious character, advised Schildhorn that in order to secure his son’s release from detention, he needed to transfer $9,000 via a cryptocurrency platform that deals in digital currencies.

Expressing his distress, Schildhorn stated, “My sibling is in a dire situation. I had to act swiftly to aid my kin while on the move.”

It was later revealed during a testimony to the Senate Special Committee on Aging that the caller was not actually Brett.

Recalling the moment, Schildhorn mentioned, “Shortly after the initial call, I received a Skype call from my actual son, confirming that he was unharmed. It was a moment of relief. I had almost fallen victim to a fraudulent scheme.”

Fortunately, Schildhorn managed to verify the authenticity of the situation before transferring any funds. However, not everyone is as fortunate.

Lawmakers estimate that fraudulent activities cost Americans approximately $9 billion last year, with older individuals being particularly vulnerable.

Seniors reportedly lost over \(1.6 billion to scams in the previous year. Still, Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), the committee’s chair, believes that the actual losses could escalate to \)48 billion.

“We need a safety net for misinformation,” Casey emphasized to our Washington News Bureau. The emotional turmoil of believing you are communicating with a loved one, only to realize it’s a hoax, is profoundly unsettling, even for individuals like Gary, who are trained to be cautious and discerning. Hence, legislative measures need to be enacted to bolster protection.

Ranking Member Senator Mike Braun (R-Indiana) warned, “The situation is poised to deteriorate due to the rapid advancement of technology.”

Schildhorn advocated for enhanced strategies to trace bitcoin transactions and identify the perpetrators behind these fraudulent schemes.

“Uncover the owners of these transactions,” Schildhorn urged. “To combat these deceptive calls effectively, we must be equipped to discern the culprits behind them.”

Film: AI was used by a former child psychiatrist who was found guilty of sexually abusing children.


AI was used by a former child physician who was found guilty of sexually abusing children.

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Last modified: February 24, 2024
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