During the holiday season, cybercriminals frequently target shoppers by posing as retailers offering significant discounts to exploit consumers’ gift-buying spending.
This year, both domestic and international scammers have a new tool at their disposal to enhance their efforts: ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot capable of mimicking human speech and performing various tasks. Security experts have observed a rise in sophisticated AI-generated spam messages, making it challenging for consumers to distinguish between genuine deals and scams.
ChatGPT’s Influence on Cybercriminal Tactics: Insights from Syniverse’s Senior Vice President
According to Michael Bordash, Senior Vice President of Syniverse, a telecom company, cybercriminals are improving their English writing skills with the assistance of ChatGPT, allowing them to craft more convincing messages. ChatGPT aids criminals in creating messages in multiple languages, increasing their effectiveness in targeting victims. Additionally, criminals can easily replicate their attacks by using ChatGPT to generate variants of previously successful campaigns.
Bordash notes that Syniverse employs AI tools to detect various scams, ranging from criminals impersonating logistics companies to those selling counterfeit goods. The holiday season sees an increase in logistics supply scams, where consumers receive fake messages from bad actors posing as shipping companies, prompting them to provide personal information under the guise of resolving a delayed package issue.
Consumer Vigilance in the Digital Marketplace: Tips to Spot and Avoid Online Scams
To identify these scams, consumers should be vigilant for spelling errors, mismatched URLs, and messages that create a sense of urgency. Bordash advises taking a moment to assess any message demanding immediate attention. Fraudulent ads, featuring popular products from legitimate brands, are another tactic scammers use on social media platforms, exploiting consumers’ fear of missing out (FOMO).
Sandro Okropiridze, a marketing expert, warns against rushing to secure deals that seem too good to be true, as scammers often mimic legitimate brands and redirect users to fake websites. To avoid falling victim to scams, Saleem Alhabash, an advertising professor at Michigan State University, recommends buying directly from the source or opting for brick-and-mortar stores instead of third-party sellers.