AI Fraud Risks Are Increasing: Here’s How to Protect Yourself
Artificial Intelligence has changed how we do everything, from farming to health. And guess what? It will change more! However, alongside this massive goody bag of endless possibilities comes an array of risks, one of which is fraud. AI has gotten good at copying how humans talk and act, which scammers now take advantage of.
Information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reveals that losses from online scams using AI rose from around $6.6 million in 2017 to over $380 million in 2021. This indicates that AI fraud is a growing menace that needs immediate action. Americans are truly worried about data, privacy, and the rapid development of AI. A recent survey reveals that 77% fear AI tools will deep fake their faces or voices to commit fraud.
Increasing Trends in AI Fraud
The actions of scammers are becoming more widespread and sophisticated. For example, fraudsters now use AI chatbots in complex dating scams. These bots can hold conversations like a human would to gain the target’s trust before trying to obtain sensitive information. In some remarkable demonstrations, experimental AI chatbots have been used by researchers to schedule salon appointments and order burgers over the phone successfully.
Recent advancements in AI make it possible for fraudsters to make convincing fake media. These notoriously deceptive “deepfake” videos are produced using AI algorithms. It is now possible to fabricate audio and videos of famous persons saying or doing things they didn’t do. As this technology further advances, we may get to a point where we cannot trust photos and videos as evidence.
Warnings from Officials Regarding AI Fraud
Several government agencies have issued repeated warnings about the rise of AI crimes. According to the FTC, imposter scams like those using AI bots were the most common type of fraud reported to them in 2021. The Social Security Administration (SSA) also reports that AI scams imitating them are skyrocketing.
The SSA states that under no circumstance would a real SSA employee threaten, suspend, or request sensitive information over the phone. Hence, AI-related crime needs to be treated as a societal scourge, thereby protecting consumers and businesses.
Identifying AI Fraud
The number one rule for escaping being a victim of fraud is ‘stay vigilant.’ Warning signs to watch out for include suspicious email addresses and links, threatening urgent action, and sensitive data requests like social security numbers over the phone or email. The base rule is that if something feels fishy, it probably is. If it seems questionable, take your time to verify it through other channels before providing any information or proceeding with payment.
Additionally, look out for minor errors in writing that may indicate AI-generated text. Unusual repetition can be a major red flag. Lastly, if a call sounds scripted or the caller cannot deviate from a set thought pattern, it could be an AI chatbot rather than a real person.
How to Protect Yourself from AI Fraud
Never disclose personal information or initiate payments without verifying the source first. Also, use two-factor authentication wherever and whenever possible and avoid using similar passwords across different platforms. Disconnect suspicious calls instead of engaging further. Later, You can look up official phone numbers and contact the institution directly.
The Role of Government and Companies in Preventing AI Fraud
While we, as consumers, need to take extra caution, the onus is not entirely on us. Lawmakers and companies should also play their parts. Governments need to provide proper regulations and guidelines around acceptable AI practices. Also, companies should prioritize security and privacy in AI design to prevent misuse.
Undoubtedly, some positive steps are being taken, such as the bot disclosure law in California requiring bots to identify themselves. This law will help combat fraudulent AI chatbots. Nevertheless, much more intervention is still needed at the policy level to get ahead of this issue. We must clamor for ethical AI standards and smart regulation to avoid a sharp rise in AI-related crime.
Read More: Are Online Banks Safe?
With each new milestone reached in the field of AI comes a possibility of misuse by fraudsters. From targeted phishing chatbots to confusing deep fakes, fraudsters can now deceive us in ways we never thought were possible.
Despite this, staying skeptical and proactive will go a long way in ensuring we avoid manipulation. We should ensure that government and institutions developing AI stay accountable. We can benefit from these advancements with adequate education and vigilance while protecting ourselves against its risks.