Online scams are rising phenomenally, and some experts believe that it is about to explode even further. According to a report by Scamwatch, an online scam-monitoring website, a total of 257,392 cases have been reported by October 2023, marking a sharp increase from 2022’s 239,237 cases. Cybercriminals have begun taking the help of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT to start campaigns at a much faster rate and they are making their fake claims much more believable, indicating they will easily fool the victim with their nefarious tactics. Earlier, this was a huge problem for cybercriminals.
Speaking with CBS MoneyWatch, Michael Bordash, senior vice president of US-based telecom company Syniverse, said, “Unfortunately, criminals are getting much better at writing English. ChatGPT is a big help for them in crafting messages. You don’t have to be a proficient English speaker to have ChatGPT write a campaign for you”.
ChatGPT can assist cybercriminals pull off ever more believable online scams
AI chatbots, such as the popular ChatGPT, are capable of generating convincing messages in well-written and grammatically correct sentences, which can make them seem more legitimate. As scammers are beginning to use these AI tools, it can make such scams even more dangerous.
This means people can no longer spot scams just by reading the language, which normally would be filled with spelling and grammatical mistakes. But that’s not the entirety of the problem. AI tools can also produce messages at a breakneck speed.
“They can use ChatGPT to take a campaign they’ve used before and tell it to come up with five variants,” Bordash told CBS MoneyWatch.
So, does that mean it is a losing battle against cybercriminals? Not really. But people need to be more mindful when they receive a lucrative offer through an email or a messaging app.
How to avoid online scams
1. Online scams often try to create a sense of urgency to distract you from thinking about it. Whenever you get any communication that emphasizes words such as “urgent”, or “immediately”, etc, always take a step back, and go through the content carefully.
2. Another common trick used by them is to offer a lucrative deal. If you’re getting an unreasonably good deal or a lot of freebies, it is better to call up the institution and verify before you go ahead.
3. Never open a link or scan a QR code that comes with such messages. If they pretend to be from another institution, search online about the same and see if you can find more information.
4. Under no circumstances should you ever send anyone your financial information.
5. And most importantly, report any suspicious or offensive behavior on the platform. This may save you as well as many others online.