ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI lab, rocketed to fame within just four months of its launch.
Unfortunately, the success of the viral AI tool has also attracted the attention of fraudsters who use the technology to conduct highly sophisticated investment scams against unwary internet users.
According to Bitdefender Antispam Labs, the latest chapter of “AI-powered” swindles begins with a simple unsolicited email.
Subject lines include:
In fact, what appears to be a benign marketing lure quickly caught the attention of our researchers, who then proceeded to reveal an intricate fraud scheme that threatens the wallets and identity of participants.
For now, the scheme targets Denmark, Germany, Australia, Ireland and the Netherlands.
The email appears to offer recipients little information, unless they access the embedded link, of course.
Although fake ChatGPT apps have surfaced on both Google and Apple app stores in the past couple of weeks, offering users monthly or weekly based subscriptions to use the tool, scammers behind this particular scheme go above and beyond to dupe consumers.
Upon accessing the link in the email, users are directed to a copycat version of ChatGPT luring users with financial opportunities that pay up to $10,000 per month “on the unique ChatGPT platform.”
As you most likely know, the official ChatGPT is an AI-driven language processing tool that enables human-like written conversations with a chatbot that can answer questions, help compose emails, essays and much more. It is not an investment or financial platform meant to help you earn money.
The phony platform’s “chatbot” begins with a short intro to its role in analyzing financial markets that can allow anyone to become a successful investor in global stocks. We agreed to play along and allow the “automatic robot created by Elon Musk,” to help us get rich. Before we begin our investment journey, the chatbot needs to calculate our daily income.
After being asked about the level of satisfaction of our current income level, the fake ChatGPT bot asks us to verify if we are “real” by entering an email address. We obliged, and the “AI” was more than willing to help us out.
Nothing too shady until we head to the next part. Without giving the phony platform any personal financial information that could help it generate a potential estimate of a “monthly user income,” the bot miraculously estimates a daily income of $420, and says the amount that “could get even bigger” in a week. Now we are asked to provide additional contact information for our very own “personal assistant” to help us activate a WhatsApp account dedicated to our earnings.
We couldn’t resist, and provided the chatbot with a valid phone number, and waited patiently to be contacted by a representative.
In 10 minutes, we received a call from a lovely young woman who spoke Romanian. She was kind enough to give us more information on how we can start earning money very quickly by investing in “crypto, oil, and international stock.”
The woman was very polite and curious about just how much our researcher makes. She asked how much money he was able to invest today, alluding to the fact that the minimum is 250 euros.
While she kept insisting on switching to WhatsApp to begin a financial analysis and set up an account, she said that we would need to provide the last six digits of a valid ID card. We skipped this step, asking her to send us an email containing the link we needed to access to transfer the 250 euros and begin our new financial journey as rookie investors.
As a side note, our researcher could hear many voices speaking on the phone to other victims, in what sounded like a call center-style environment.
After a couple of minutes of speaking with the employee, she asked one of her colleagues to send us the form we needed to fill out to begin investing.
We were advised to enter the amount of 250 EUR and send a screenshot showing that the payment is still processing.
As you can see, the form requires a variety of personal information, including first and last name, date of birth, physical address and payment method.
We used a made-up credit card number to see what would happen next.
The “payment” did not go through, and the woman advised our researcher to repeat the process, making sure that there are no typos. She also said to be very careful when typing to prevent the bank from blocking the credit card.
A few interesting notes our researchers pointed:
Scammers using new viral internet tools or trends to defraud users is nothing new. If you’re looking to test out the official ChatGPT and its AI-powered text-generating abilities, do so only using the official website.
Don’t follow links you receive via unsolicited correspondence and be especially wary of investment ploys delivered on behalf of the company, they are a scam.
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