Secretary Michael Watson Warns of Increasing Uses of AI in Investment Scams

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Press Release| Wednesday, February 14, 2024

JACKSON, Miss. – Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to emerge as the latest development in global technology. AI is still evolving with increasing human-like functions. Artificial intelligence in this technological age is profitable, until placed in the wrong hands.


Investment fraud is already a rising threat in the United States. With the aid of AI, it is unstoppable without intervention. Scammers can easily use AI to impersonate other people including investment advisors.


“While we continue to promote technological advances and business growth, it is imperative we remain vigilant in our uses and interactions with AI. Unfortunately, all Mississippians are susceptible to this rapidly developing threat,” said Secretary Michael Watson.


Statistics reveal that Mississippians are frequent victims of fraud. A 2023 report reveals Mississippi as the #1 state in 2023 for spam calls received. On average, Americans receive about six spam calls per month. Most investment scammers start with phone calls, often impersonating others using AI-generated audio.  


Investment fraud has a dangerous potential of causing financial devastation. AI can equip fraudulent investors with fake videos, websites, and materials to appear legitimate. Mississippi law requires investments and the person offering them to be registered. Mississippians should always verify this information before investing their money.


Punishable by law, this ubiquitous crime must be reported when seen or suspected. Sacrificing personal security for what appears to be a good investment is never worth the risk.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  • Do not respond to suspicious messages from unrecognized phone numbers or email addresses.
  • Never send money to an investment company without verifying it first. Your financial information could be immediately compromised.
  • Be cautious about endorsements of certain investments. The “celebrity personalities” behind these endorsements may also be fraudulent.
  • Utilize trusted sources, such as the Secretary of State’s Office, to test the validity of questionable investments.
  • Raise awareness about the growing threat of fraud in our state. Educate yourself so you can help protect your family and friends from becoming victims.

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For questions or concerns, please contact our Securities Division at Securities.CustomerService@sos.ms.gov or (601) 359-1334.

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