With the rise of artificial intelligence, we’re now encountering the unexpected reality of the ChatGPT scam. This groundbreaking AI tool, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has swept the globe, revolutionizing the way we interact online. Yet, the same features that make it appealing to billions are being exploited by cybercriminals in new and worrying ways.
Don’t fall for these ChatGPT scams
As they say, every rose has its thorn, and in this instance, the blossoming capabilities of AI chatbots have brought with them a prickly side effect. So, let’s delve into the dark corners of these ChatGPT scams, to help keep your interactions safe, productive, and free from harm.
FraudGPT: Scammers’ secret to stealing your data
ChatGPT-generated email scam
Emails, a notorious scamming medium, have been used to disseminate malware, extort victims, or pilfer crucial information. Today, the ChatGPT name is being unscrupulously incorporated in email scams to deceive the recipients.
In April 2023, several media outlets started flagging a surge of phishing emails explicitly crafted by ChatGPT. With the chatbot’s ability to generate content per user request, miscreants have now turned to this tool to create phishing emails for their malevolent campaigns.
Take an example where a cybercriminal lacks fluency in English but aims to target English-speaking victims. With the aid of ChatGPT, they can generate a perfect phishing email devoid of any spelling or grammatical errors. These convincingly penned emails can more effectively dupe victims, bolstering the veneer of authenticity that the fraudulent sender aims to portray.
Essentially, the utilization of ChatGPT in crafting phishing emails could potentially streamline the scamming process for cybercriminals, possibly triggering an upswing in phishing attack frequencies.
Malicious ChatGPT browser extensions
Browser extensions, while popular and handy for millions, also serve as trojan horses for illicit versions of this software, which are used to implant malware and exfiltrate data. This is a ChatGPT scam that’s equally applicable to ChatGPT.
While there are legitimate extensions focused on ChatGPT (like Merlin and Enhanced ChatGPT), not all extensions appearing on your browser’s app store can be trusted. For instance, a pseudo ChatGPT extension called “Chat GPT for Google” rapidly proliferated across devices in March 2023. As it propagated, this deceptive ChatGPT extension was pilfering Facebook information from thousands of users.
The extension was strategically named to sow confusion, closely mirroring the name of the authentic ChatGPT for Google tool. Many users, assuming it was safe, installed the extension without questioning its legitimacy. In actuality, the extension was a clandestine conduit to implant backdoors on Facebook accounts and gain unauthorized admin access.
After WormGPT download, here are the dangers waiting for you
Fake third-party ChatGPT apps
Cybercriminals often resort to using respected names, such as ChatGPT, to disseminate harmful apps. These malicious apps, while not a novel concept, have long been leveraged to unleash malware, siphon off data, and monitor device activities. ChatGPT’s recognition is now being exploited to propagate these malicious applications.
In February 2023, it was unearthed that cybercriminals had devised a counterfeit ChatGPT app designed to deliver Windows and Android malware. As reported by Bleeping Computer, the rogue individuals took advantage of OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus to trick users into believing they could access a free version of the typically paid tool. The ulterior motive of these cybercriminals is to either filch credentials or unleash malware.
To shield yourself from such malicious apps, it’s crucial to carry out thorough background checks on any software program to ascertain its reputation. Regardless of how appealing an app may seem, it’s not worth the risk if its safety can’t be validated. Stick to well-trusted app stores and peruse user reviews prior to downloading any app.
Malware crafted by ChatGPT
AI and cybercrime are topics that have stirred a considerable buzz in recent years, with concerns that this technology could potentially simplify the process for malicious individuals to execute scams and assaults on victims.
This concern is far from unfounded, given that ChatGPT can be employed in crafting malware. It didn’t take long post-launch for unscrupulous individuals to begin authoring malicious code using this popular tool. Early in 2023, a strain of Python-based malware, allegedly authored using ChatGPT, was mentioned in a post on a hacking forum.
Though the malware wasn’t overly complex and no extremely harmful malware, like ransomware, has yet been identified as a ChatGPT product, the capacity of ChatGPT to craft even simplistic malware programs opens a door for those aspiring to delve into cybercrime but lack substantial technical prowess. This emerging AI-enabled capability may well pose a significant problem in the near future.
Phishing attacks often take the form of rogue websites, crafted to record your keystrokes and snatch valuable data for misuse. If you’re a ChatGPT user, you could potentially fall prey to this kind of phishing scam. Imagine you land on a website you believe to be the official ChatGPT page. You proceed to create an account, keying in your name, contact information, and other details. If the website is actually a harmful site, there’s a high chance your entered information will be stolen for exploitation.
How to use WormGPT AI
Alternatively, you might receive an email from someone posing as a ChatGPT team member, stating that your ChatGPT account needs verification. This email may contain a link to a webpage where you’re asked to log in to your account and complete the alleged verification.
But here’s the catch in this ChatGPT scam: the link you’re tempted to click leads you to a harmful webpage capable of stealing any data you input, including your login details. Suddenly, an unauthorized party can gain access to your ChatGPT account and peruse your prompt history, account information, and other sensitive data. It’s essential to be able to identify phishing scams to steer clear of this form of cybercrime.
The ChatGPT subscription scam
Subscription-based services often attract tricksters, and unfortunately, ChatGPT is no exception. A rising ChatGPT scam involves phony subscription offers for the service. You might encounter an attractive offer online promising a discounted or even free subscription to ChatGPT Plus, which normally comes with a fee.
After clicking the ad or the link, you’re redirected to a website resembling the official OpenAI page. You’re asked to fill in your personal information and credit card details to access the ‘special offer’. But the moment you do, your sensitive data falls into the wrong hands, ready to be exploited.
Fake social media messages
Social media platforms are teeming with potential ChatGPT scams as well. Fraudulent direct messages or posts claiming to be from the official ChatGPT account could reach you. They may ask you to click on a link to win a prize, verify your account, or update your details.
However, these messages are nothing more than a ploy to collect personal information or install harmful malware on your device. Always check the account sending these messages; official accounts are usually verified with a blue tick.
Always stay vigilant
These scams are just a few examples of the potential risks lurking in the digital world related to ChatGPT. They illustrate the importance of maintaining a high level of vigilance while interacting with AI tools like ChatGPT or any digital services. Always remember that if an offer appears too good to be true, it likely is. Be wary of suspicious emails, links, extensions, apps, and websites that could potentially be a part of a ChatGPT scam. As the saying goes, “Forewarned is forearmed.” So stay informed, stay safe, and keep enjoying the wonderful world of AI responsibly.