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15 Feb, 2024 | Thursday
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Scammers are using AI to target users on Valentine's Day: How to protect yourself

According to a report, 26 percent said they had talked with a potential love interest, to discover it was actually an AI-generated bot and not a real person.

Edited By: Shweta Ganjoo

Published: Feb 13, 2024, 01:40 PM IST | Updated: Feb 15, 2024, 12:00 AM IST

Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day

Story Highlights

  • 77 percent of Indians said they had come across fake profiles and/or photos that look AI-generated on dating websites or apps.
  • 26 percent of Indians said they had talked with a potential love interest, to discover it was actually an AI-generated bot.
  • 65 percent Indians have used ChatGPT/AI to help create pics or other content for a dating app.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based scams are on a rise. While AI-based tools have primarily been used to dupe people of their hard-earned money, of lately these tools are also being used to scam people on dating websites and apps and on social media. According to a recent report by cyber-security company, McAfee, 77 percent of Indians said they had come across fake profiles and/or photos that look AI-generated on dating websites or apps, or on social media. The report also says that 26 percent said they had talked with a potential love interest, to discover it was actually an AI-generated bot and not a real person.

Interestingly, it’s not just the scammers that are using AI to scam people on dating platforms, but also the regular people who are increasingly using these tools to articulate their emotions better. The same report by the company discovered that 65 percent Indians have used ChatGPT or AI to help create images or other content for a dating app. The report also says that this Valentine’s Day, 56 percent of Indians are planning to or considering using AI to write messages for their love interest as it helps boost their confidence.

Amid this scenario, here are a few steps that you can use to protect yourself from online romance and AI scams.

How to protect yourself from online romance and AI scams

— Scrutinise any direct messages you receive from a love interest, via a dating app or social media. One way to spot a scammer is to look out for message that are quite generic or lack substance.

— Do not click on any links in messages you receive from someone you have not met in person.

— Do a reverse-image search of any profile pictures the person uses. If the search results show that your love interest is associated with another name or with details that don’t match up with what they have told you, you may be chatting with a scammer.

— Never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person, even if they send you money first. McAfee’s report suggests that scammers often send money to soften up their victim and build trust.

— Don’t share personal or account information with a person you haven’t met before.

— Invest in tools to help identify online scams.

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Author Name | Shweta Ganjoo

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