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AI is giving scammers a new tool to take advantage of Black Friday sales

The upcoming sales season is likely to see an increase in scams, alongside an increase in their complexity.

user icon David Hollingworth
Mon, 13 Nov 2023
AI is giving scammers a new tool to take advantage of Black Friday sales
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Despite the rising cost of living and crushing interest rate rises, Australians are expected to spend more than $6 million over the coming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

But with great spending comes a greater risk of falling victim to scams, and artificial intelligence (AI) is giving scammers an extra edge this sales season.

Scams cost Australians $3.1 billion in 2022, an increase of 80 per cent over the previous year. If the trend continues, scams could cost Australians a lot more this year.

“Often, scams that appear during these holidays may be riddled with inaccuracy in spelling and grammar, but the availability of generative AI closes the gap between the novice scammer with poor spelling and grammar and gives them a competitive edge they’ve never had before,” said Satnam Narang, senior staff research engineer at Tenable, in a statement. “Scammers will use these tools this year as part of their scams and will find more success than in years past.”

As well as AI tools like ChatGPT providing scammers with a way to write more grammatically correct emails and texts, deep fakes are another threat during the season. After seeing one of the biggest YouTubers in the world impersonated in a fake smartphone giveaway, Narang believes similar scams could be on the way for the Black Friday period.

“Social media is the perfect place to catch distracted users off guard. Today, cyber criminals can begin their scams on one social network and drive users to another one. Fake profiles are rampant, and scammers can create hundreds of accounts to legitimise their scams. These existing tactics combined with the current boom of generative AI and use of deep fakes creates a dangerous situation for users,” Narang said.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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