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Attorney General Charity Clark talks deepfakes and election scams

Attorney General Charity Clark at a press conference on Oct. 24.
Adiah Gholston
Vermont Public
Attorney General Charity Clark at a press conference on Oct. 24, 2024

The attorney general's office is urging Vermonters to be vigilant this year for election-related scams. Attorney General Charity Clark joined Vermont Edition to share information about scams that can become more prevalent during election years.

In phishing scams, a scammer pretends to be someone they're not to access a target's money.

"If someone texts you, for example, 'support this candidate,' and there's a link, don't click on that link," Clark said. If you do want to donate to that candidate, go directly to their website and donate directly. "That way you know it's reliable," she said.

Other popular scams involve convincing people to pay money to register to vote. Clark reminded Vermonters that it is always free to register to vote. In Vermont, you can register ahead of election day or on the same day of an election.

Clark also urged people to be wary of deep fakes and robocalls. Earlier this year the New Hampshire attorney general's office investigated a robocallthat used artificial intelligence to mimic President Joe Biden. The fake call made it sound as though Biden was discouraging Democrats from voting in the primary election.

"It's a very concerning issue," Clark said.

The conversation also included a discussion of a major data privacy bill on Gov. Phil Scott's desk, his veto of a restorative justice bill, a new measure criminalizing deepfake pornography, and various lawsuits being worked on by her office.

Broadcast live on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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Mikaela Lefrak is the host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.