AI Alert: How to outsmart ChatGPT scammers

Wish to keep scammers at bay? Here are some common ChatGPT scams you should be aware of

AI Alert: How to outsmart ChatGPT scammers

Tuesday November 28, 2023,

5 min Read

Ever since the launch of ChatGPT, it has been a highly debated topic. It is a powerful tool that has transformed the way we interact with machines. No doubt that the list of its advantages is a long one, but like any other technology, it comes with its downside or misuse as well. One such problem associated with ChatGPT is the rise of scams.

As our lives are getting increasingly intertwined with the internet, it is getting easier to trust things online. This trust and popularity of certain technology is then misused by scammers seeking to exploit unsuspecting users. This can be done in multiple ways. Hence, in today’s article, we'll explore some of the common ChatGPT scams and ways to stay vigilant.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology. It is developed by OpenAI specifically from the GPT-3.5 architecture. This makes it adept at having human-like conversations, answering questions, and assisting you with tasks like composing emails, essays, and code.

Even though it comprehends context well the responses are generated based on patterns learned from data rather than true understanding. ChatGPT has applications in chatbots, virtual assistants, and various natural language processing tasks.

How scammers are using ChatGPT?

Email spoofing

One of the oldest tricks is email spoofing. Cybercriminals disguise themselves as legitimate senders by using the names of trusted institutions such as banks, government agencies, or popular online platforms like ChatGPT. 

These type of emails often delivers with a sense of urgency involved in it, so that the recipients are tricked into clicking on links leading to fake websites. These pages can be a fake login page asking for personal information. 

The other way cybercriminals are using ChatGPT in email scams is by leveraging the chatbot's ability to create content. This content with perfect grammar and spelling makes their phishing emails appear legitimate, and easier to gain trust and trick people.

Fake ChatGPT browser extensions

There are multiple fake browser extensions that use the names of popular platforms to get clicks. One such example is "Chat GPT for Google," which pretends to be real but can install malware and steal your data. You can avoid this by checking the legitimacy of the ChatGPT extension before downloading, also check small name differences indicating a fake version.

Fake ChatGPT apps

Cybercriminals make a replica of popular apps to spread malware on Windows and Android devices. There are many fake ChatGPT apps that can steal your credentials or install malware by giving you unrealistic offers like free versions of premium tools etc. You can easily avoid this by using trusted app stores, checking reviews before downloading them, and not falling for unrealistic and fishy offers.

ChatGPT phishing sites

Phishers are good at creating convincing replicas of legitimate websites to trick people into entering sensitive information. These fake websites can closely resemble popular platforms, convincing people to believe they are on the official site. 

This can be avoided by checking the website's URL for inconsistencies, misspellings, or unusual domain extensions. For example, legitimate websites use secure connections (https://), so if a site lacks this protocol, be wary of that. 

These deceptive sites aim to get sensitive information from the users mainly for these two reasons:

1. Credential harvesting

Phishing sites often aim to harvest usernames and passwords, through fake login pages that appear identical to legitimate ones. Hence it is important to double-check the URL before entering login credentials. For added security, you can enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

2. Financial scams

Phishing isn't limited to stealing login credentials. Some scams aim to trick individuals into making financial transactions under false pretences. Therefore verifying the legitimacy of requests for money or sensitive financial information is crucial especially when it comes from an unexpected source.

How to avoid getting scammed?

Individuals and organisations can protect themselves and avoid falling victim to potential ChatGPT scams, by considering the following precautions:

  • Verification of sources: Verify the legitimacy of the platform or service using ChatGPT. Stick to reputable and official sources.

  • Be sceptical: Exercise caution if asked for personal information, passwords, or financial details. Legitimate services typically don't request such information.

  • Check URLs: Ensure you are using the correct and official website or application. Scammers often create fake websites that look similar to the real ones.

  • Avoid clicking suspicious links: Refrain from clicking on links from untrusted sources, as they may lead to phishing sites or malware.

  • Educate yourself and your employees: Stay informed about common scams and phishing tactics to recognise potential threats. If you own a business then ensure that your employees aren’t falling for fake chatbots. You can do that by training them to identify scams and learn the protocols.

  • Anti-malware software: As a business, it is essential to keep the anti-malware software up to date and regularly scan the systems for potential threats. 

  • Stay updated: As more scammers turn to ChatGPT, the threats they pose will continue to evolve. Protect yourself by paying attention to the latest cyber security news and reports.

The bigger picture

In this increasingly digitised world, where technology is advancing, so are the tactics of cybercriminals. AI tools are gaining immense popularity because of their long list of advantages, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that scammers are seeing this as an opportunity to trick people. 

However, it is possible to safeguard yourself from these scams by staying well-informed and vigilant. Be sceptical of unexpected requests for sensitive data, double-check URLs, and educate yourself on the latest phishing techniques, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these common scams. 

Remember, when in doubt, verify before you trust. Fortunately, enough people and organisations are now more aware of the potential risks of interacting with AI chatbots and taking the required measures.