Cybercriminals are more active during the holiday seasons, and online shoppers are facing the risks of falling victim to cyber-criminals who show themselves as a retailer, and offer high discounts and try to get the consumers attention and exploit their festive spending spree.
This year, both domestic and international scammers are leveraging advanced AI tools like ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot that is capable of mimicking human speech to make their fraudulent activities undetectable.
According to Cybersecurity experts, they have detected cybercrime, and cyber-criminals are using the advanced AI tools to craft convincing spam messages that target the victims more effectively, that make it impossible for the consumers to differentiate between genuine and fraud deals. Moreover, cybercriminals can easily replicate the spam message into multiple variants of a fraud campaign by using AI tools like ChatGPT.
A senior executive at Syniverse, a telecom company, Micheal Bordash highlighted that, Unfortunately criminals are using the ChatGPT and improving their English writing. ChatGPT is a big helper for them. He further said that For creating flawless campaigns, you don’t need to be an expert in English.
Syniverse uses AI to detect a range of scams, including those involving fake shipping notifications from impostors posing as reputable logistics companies like UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.
ChatGPT presents an additional risk as it empowers cyber-criminals to tailor their scams to the victim’s native language, enhancing the effectiveness of their deceptive tactics. Moreover, if cyber-criminals achieve success in one cyber attack tactic, they can effortlessly replicate that successful method to ensnare future unsuspecting customers.
Miceal Boradsh said they can use ChatGPT and ask it to generate the five variants of previously successful spam campaigns. He stated that it is the battle of the Bots, highlighting the evolving battle between AI tools, where scammers and security experts employ similar technologies.
In this holiday season, logistic supply of the scam is more prevalent. Scammers trick consumers into providing personal information under the guise of resolving a supposed package delay. Bordash advised consumers to be vigilant for spelling errors, mismatched URLs, and urgent messages demanding immediate action.
Their target needs to believe that they have to provide personal information to get the package. However there is no real package. It is just the play to get your home address and credit card information under the guise of paying an expedition fee for the supposed delivery package.
You must spot the error by looking for the spelling errors or URL mismatch and also try to spot the urgency in the message. Bordash said, anything that demands immediate attention, you need to check it twice before posting to that question.
Fraudulent ads on social media platforms are another avenue for scammers, showcasing enticing deals on popular products from reputable brands. Sandro Okropiridze, a marketing expert, warned against ads that mimic legitimate brands, luring consumers with unbelievable deals and creating a sense of urgency.
To protect yourself against these scams, an advertising Professor Saleem Alhabash recommends buying products from official sources or going to the Brick mortar stores.
As cybercriminals are taking advantage of consumers’ eagerness for deals and trends of online shopping. So it is best to be cautious and verify the legitimacy of offers before accepting them especially during this holiday season.
Here are some tips that will help you to get genuine shopping deals, and you can also enjoy shopping during the holidays.
Be aware of the scammers that are giving you the links and posing themselves as some popular personalities and taking you away from the official platform, especially if that social platform has no real engagement or followings; then it is clearly a warning sign.
If you find the deal too good, then it is clearly a red flag. Especially, if these deals have no geniune reviews or engagement. Morey Haber, the chief security officer at BeyondTrust, advises people to stay alert and don’t fall for the deals that seem too amazing because these kinds of deals either snatch your information or send you a fake version of the product.
So during the holidays deals, like CyberMonday, always look for the deals on the trusted and reputed websites.
Make sure to change your passwords often, and don’t use the same password for different online shopping sites. For further security, use the strong password and enable two factor authentication code to protect yourself from possible hacks, especially when cyber attackers are more active during the shopping season.