Nuns have been conned out of thousands of pounds after being targeted by artificial intelligence posing as fake Bishops. The “brides of Christ” have been put on alert after a string of attempts by callous conmen to defraud the convents of cash.

They have been using artificial intelligence to alter their voices and faces to impersonate religious leaders and beg for money for operations in Spain. The Guardia Civil police force said that up to 15 convents in the southern province of Jaen have been targeted in the last few weeks.

One posing as the Bishop of Jaen, Sebastián Chico, telephoned several nuns asking them to transfer 5,000 euros ($4,260) to pay for surgery.


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A convent in Torredonjimeno fell for the trick and handed over $2500. In the coastal town of Almeria, the bishop’s office warned that fraudsters are using artificial intelligence technology “to achieve almost perfect imitations of voices and, in the case of videos, even the face and gestures of the impersonated person”.

One nun said she told a fraudster who telephoned and introduced himself as the Bishop of Jaen: “You’re not Don Sebastián, your voice is very hoarse.” But she said he replied and said: “Yes, I am. I need the money for an operation on my throat.”