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How scammers teach AI and what to be wary of

How scammers teach AI and what to be wary of AI helpes everyone including fraudsters (Collage: RBC-Ukraine)

Criminals have started utilizing artificial intelligence for fraudulent activities. But is it possible to protect oneself from "smart" technologies aimed at deception? RBC-Ukraine sheds light on scams involving AI and how the average citizen can prevent falling victim to them.

During preparing this material, sources such as Lifehacker and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine were used.

How AI assists scammers

Scammers, hackers, and other criminals employ artificial intelligence in various ways. However, their ultimate goal is usually the same as in other schemes—to make you click on fake links, download malicious software, or "pay" for non-existent services.

To deceive people, scammers teach AI new "tricks," including:

  • Sending fake personalized messages on social media or other communication platforms.

  • Sending emails or messages pretending to be someone else.

  • Creating fake content such as useful websites, articles, publications, etc.

  • Posting forged job vacancies or offers.

  • Launching fake advertisements or messages.

  • Creating fraudulent investment schemes.

  • Mimicking the voice of a specific person (for voice authentication or to trick people into providing "assistance" to supposedly close acquaintances).

  • Blackmailing victims with highly realistic deepfake pornography.

Some believe that over time, AI may even learn to pass "live checks," where a person's real-time image matches the stored information in the system.

Moreover, criminals use generative AI to outsmart anti-fraud specialists and companies specializing in combating fraud.

How scammers teach AI and what to be wary of

AI learns fast (photo: Рixabay)

What to be wary of

One of the best ways to protect yourself from fraud is to be extremely cautious in any situation that seems "unclear" to you.

Experts from the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine advise citizens to beware of:

  • Duplicate websites (they resemble genuine official sites visually and in content, but the hyperlink contains extra letters or numbers).

  • Fake online stores (they may deceive for money and offer non-existent or low-quality goods).

  • Fake social media pages (they can collect personal data for malicious use and extort money).

  • "Easy" job vacancies and part-time job offers (they often require "deposits" to start a job or gather personal information for subsequent illegal use).

  • Strange messages sent via email or social media (often involving paying a certain amount to claim a "prize" or participate in a "promotion," etc.).

  • Messages pretending to be from banks about account blocking or other issues (they often include requests to send personal data, such as card PIN, 16-digit card number, card expiry date, CVV code, etc.).

  • Messages from postal services (requesting to click on a hyperlink, pay additional fees, or provide additional personal information).

  • Messages like "your relative has been in an accident, and urgent money is needed" (they force trusting citizens to urgently pay large sums to scammers).

How scammers teach AI and what to be wary of

Security is extremely important (photo: Рixabay)

How to protect yourself from "smart" fraud

To avoid falling victim to scammers, it is crucial to remain vigilant.

It's better to double-check suspicious information received a hundred times than to fall "hook, line, and sinker" for criminals. This involves verifying the links of a particular website, scrutinizing social media pages for authenticity, researching information about a potential employer on the official company website, contacting the bank or postal service directly, and reaching out to a supposed "relative in distress," among other precautions.

Additionally, experts advise:

  • Not sharing any personal data and photos with unknown individuals: Even if they claim to be official representatives of a company, bank, or other institutions.

  • Not answering calls from unfamiliar numbers.

  • Not reacting to any suspicious messages.

  • Not clicking on dubious and unclear links.

  • Not logging into random websites using social media, Google, or Apple accounts.

  • Thoroughly verifying the legitimacy of any received messages.

  • Creating unique passwords for each account used.

  • Always reporting any suspicions of fraud.

It's worth noting that Bill Gates made a significant statement about the future of AI not long ago.

Read also if AI can create more jobs than it destroys.