FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Senator Wadsack Introduces Legislation to Fight Against
Artificial Intelligence Scams PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Senator Justine Wadsack is working to establish a new law to crack down on artificial intelligence (AI) scams after an Arizona mother became a victim of attempted extortion with the use of voice clones generated by AI.
In 2023, Jennifer DeStefano received a call from scammers who cloned her daughter's voice and demanded $1 million ransom. She has since been outspoken about the traumatizing incident and shared her story with Senator Wadsack in hopes of preventing this type of fraud from happening to others. As a result, Senator Wadsack has introduced SB 1599, which will establish AI as a weapon so that there may be legal consequences when it's used to commit crimes.
"AI technology is becoming more sophisticated, and criminals are taking advantage of it," said Senator Wadsack. "These scammers have the ability to create realistic audio of people's loved ones. I can't imagine getting a call from who I believe is my child that's been kidnapped. That type of encounter has lasting traumatizing effects that impact your sense of security and safety. Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated innocent. Having the legal tools to fight back is absolutely necessary."
"I want people to know this type of criminal activity can happen to anyone," said DeStefano. "It's easy to think they're confined to just social media users or a specific age or demographic, but after hearing countless stories, I know that's not the case. I'll never forget those haunting cries, moments of pleas, and screams. It's terrorizing. My greatest fear is how AI could be used in human trafficking. There is physical and emotional harm that can be done beyond financial crimes."
You can listen to more of Jennifer DeStefano's testimony here.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus