Don't Talk to a Chatbot if You See This! Experts Issue Important Warning

Don't Talk to a Chatbot if You See This! Experts Issue Important Warning

Chatbots seem harmless, but in the wrong hands, they can scam you. Here's how to spot them.

Chatbots are becoming more and more common in customer service, online shopping, and information searches. However, although they may seem completely harmless, cybersecurity experts warn that not all chatbots are trustworthy. Luckily, they have detected clear signs you should take into account to identify them. Cybersecurity specialists from Cyber London and the Advisory Board of the International Cyber Expo shared their advice on the use of chatbots with the English newspaper The Sun.

AI-based chatbots, such as OpenAI's ChatGPT or Google's Gemini, can be a great help in completing everyday tasks. However, cybercriminals can also leverage these technologies to use fake chatbots to obtain misleading information.

According to Newman, consumers find it difficult to distinguish between chatbots developed by legitimate companies and fake chatbots created by criminals to obtain your data or trick you. As reported by Newman, "The best advice is to be careful. If you are using a bank's chatbot, call the official number, ask how secure it is and what information it will ask you for."

  • One indicative sign of fake chatbots is spelling mistakes, either on the website or in the chatbot's conversation window. If anything looks suspicious, don't hesitate to stop the chat immediately.
  • It is also important to check the URL of the sites you visit to make sure that it is not a fake page trying to copy the design and menu to trick you into entering your password or card number.
  • Look at the conversation with the chatbot: if the answers are too quick and general, it can also raise suspicions. Also, if the chatbot tries to redirect the conversation to another app or website, you should be wary.
  • As for the type of information that the chatbot requests, it must be in line with the query you are asking, and never about your passwords or credit card number.

On the other hand, it is not only banking or service websites that can be copied by criminals. Thanks to AI, a significant increase in romance scams has been reported. In this context, chatbots are used to liven up conversations that seem as authentic as possible to hook the victim, get them into a long-distance relationship, and then ask them for money. That is why it is important to be skeptical and not share personal information with strangers.