AI chatbots seducing victims as online scams get even more SINISTER | Tech News

AI chatbots seducing victims as online scams get even more SINISTER

The use of AI chatbots in pulling off romantic online scams can make life a nightmare for the victims.

| Updated on: Jan 27 2023, 15:44 IST
BEWARE! Here is how NOT to check your PF balance; man loses Rs. 1.23 lakh in scam
AI scams
1/7 In a shocking turn of events, when a man was looking to check his PF balance online, he was caught by fraudsters and lost Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Reuters)
AI scams
2/7 This is how he lost money in this PF balance scam. He was searching for the EPOFO phone number on the Internet, but came across a fake phone number, according to Free Press Journal. He called it and the person there convinced him to download an app that provided the fraudster with remote access to his gadget. He also shared the code for making a payment. Before, the innocent man knew what happened, he had lost the whopping amount of Rs. 1.23 lakh! (Pixabay)
AI scams
3/7 In short, do not check PF balance by searching online and clicking on random links or talking to anyone. Just remember, EPFO will never ask you to make any payment or download any app or even ask you for any payment code or OTP. So, if you want to know how to check PF balance online, we explain it here. (HT_PRINT)
AI scams
4/7 How to check PF balance Via UMANG App - For checking PF Balance via UMANG App, you will first have to download the app and then log in by entering your UAN and OTP (one-time password) to check the PF account balance. (UMANG Twitter)
AI scams
5/7 How to check PF balance Via Text Message – EPFO members whose UANs are registered with EPFO can check their PF balance by sending a text message (SMS) to 7738299899 by typing 'EPFOHO UAN ENG' using your registered mobile number with the UAN (Universal Account Number). It can be noted that the last three digits of the message represents the language in which you want to receive the message. (Pixabay)
AI scams
6/7 How to check PF balance Via Missed Call – Members also have the option of checking the PF balance via call. Registered users can give a missed call to 011-22901406 from their UAN registered mobile number after which they will receive an SMS with details of the PF account balance. (Unsplash)
AI scams
7/7 How to check PF balance Via EPFO website - Visit the EPFO portal and click on the ‘For Employees’ option under the ‘Our Services’ dropdown menu. Click on 'Member Passbook' and enter your UAN and password. Once you do so you will be able to see your passbook. It can be noted that people who have worked in more than one organisation will have different member IDs to choose from. (MINT_PRINT)
AI scams
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Know all about the newest weapon in romantic online scams - AI chatbots. (Pexels)

The world of online scams is constantly evolving. Today, there are a plethora of online scams duping victims including phishing scams, lottery scams, fake job scams, ponzi scams, tech support scams and romance scams. All of these scams work on the same principle — they first hook the victim with a lucrative offer and then try to siphon their personal and financial information and steal money from them. And now, romance scams are being weaponised due to the emergence of AI chatbots.

AI chatbots, such as the popular ChatGPT, are capable of having conversations with users with contextual and human-like responses. They also learn from the conversation itself and can adapt themselves as per the preferences of the user. As scammers are beginning to use these AI tools, it can make such scams even more dangerous.

AI chatbots can make romance scams harder to distinguish

Online scams such as romance scams are already difficult to distinguish because the entire premise of establishing a connection with someone and then making them trust the scammer takes weeks of conversation. But once a victim is hooked, it can be easy to get money out of them by using an emotional pitch. But with the help of AI, scammers can automate the build-up period of the scam and focus on increasing the number of victims.

Richard De Vere, the Head of Social Engineering at tech solutions firm Ultima, spoke with The Sun on the topic and said, “In the US alone...about 24,000 people fall victim to romance scams each year. Scammers using AI have the potential to automate a lot of their mundane work....”

This is why it is extremely important to adhere to some basic principles while dating online.

How to protect yourself from romantic online scams

1. Never send money to, or share your financial information with, anyone under any circumstances.

2. Do not share your personal information like Aadhaar card number, PAN card information, work or home address or any details about your daily routine that can be used to track you. These rules are essential for anyone you have not met so far.

3. Keep the conversation limited to the platform while you are still getting to know them. Do not share your phone number or any contact details right away.

4. Watch out for scammers who claim to be from your country but are somewhere else, especially if they ask for financial help to return home.

5. Be wary of anyone who will not meet in person or talk on a phone/video call—they may not be who they say they are. If someone is avoiding your questions or pushing for a serious relationship without meeting or getting to know you first — that's a red flag.

6. And most importantly, report any suspicious or offensive behavior immediately to Tinder. This may save you as well as many others online.

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First Published Date: 27 Jan, 15:40 IST