Recently, AI chatbots have become quite popular, with OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft leading the way. As with any new technology, thieves are figuring out ways to abuse it for their own nefarious ends. The most recent craze is the appearance of fake AI chatbot apps intended to trick and con naive consumers. Let’s review what you need to be on the lookout for and how you can prevent falling for these scams so that you can navigate this potentially dangerous minefield.
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The Issue with AI Chatbot Applications
New research from the cybersecurity company Sophos claims that fraudsters are developing fake applications that promise to provide features that are comparable to well-known chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The abundance of these fraudulent applications in app stores tempts users to download them. While the majority of these applications start off as free downloads, access to some essential functions is restricted until users sign up for a premium plan, which may run as much as $69.99 per month.
Identifying Fake AI Chatbot Apps
These con artists utilize a number of strategies to get consumers to download their bogus applications. Falsely stating that the applications provide the same capabilities as well-known chatbots like ChatGPT and Bing Chat, they actively market the apps. In order to make the applications seem trustworthy, they also alter app ratings by submitting phony 4- and 5-star reviews. A deeper examination indicates that these encouraging evaluations are often short and evasive, while a large number of other remarks stress the programs’ total lack of functioning.
Illustrations of Fake AI Apps
Here are a few fake AI chatbot apps that seem legitimate:
- Chat GBT: This fraudulent software poses as a ChatGPT substitute. It forces customers to pay a monthly subscription of $10 or an annual cost of $30 by barraging them with advertisements and limiting their access after only three tries. Even those that pay claim that the software fails to adequately answer their inquiries and continuously annoys them with advertising. Thankfully, the Google Play Store has deleted this software.
- AI Chatbot Assistant: Sadly, the Apple App Store, as well as the Google Play Store, continue to distribute this fraudulent program. Users are limited to a maximum of three conversations per day before being prompted to sign up for a free, three-day trial that then turns into a $6 per-week membership.
- Chat AI Ask Chatbot Assistant: The Chat AI Ask Chatbot Assistant app, which is still available on the App Store, even imitates the OpenAI logo. It persistently harasses consumers into paying an $8 weekly membership charge while holding up their ability to cancel the prompt. AIChatChabot, Pocket AI Chat, and Writing BOT Pocket AI are just some of the names that have been used to refer to this application over its history.
- Genie – AI Chatbot: Like other fraudulent programs, Genie AI is a chatbot that can be found on the App Store. Upon installation, it asks users for permission to monitor them and urges them to score the program even before they use it. Offering a three-day free trial followed by a $7 weekly cost or a $70 yearly membership price, it encourages consumers to subscribe aggressively. Users may only ask four free queries each day if they choose not to sign up for the trial.
- Open Chat with AI Chatbot AI: This application, formerly known as “AI Smith,” is now called “AI Chatbot – Open Chat Writer.” The real app after installation is different from the images shown on the App Store. It restricts users to five messages each day unless they subscribe. Users are also continually asked to evaluate the app, pay for memberships, or see intrusive advertisements.
How to Spot Red Flags
It’s vital to exercise caution and obey the following advice if you want to protect yourself from these con artists:
Don’t Download From Third Parties
Don’t download applications from unofficial websites. In an effort to deceive consumers into installing dangerous software, scammers often construct phony websites that seem like authentic sources. Keep in mind that you should only ever download software from trusted shops, such as the Apple Store or the Google Play Store. Even while some fake programs could get through, the danger is far smaller on these approved platforms.
Keep to Well-Known Brands
It’s preferable to depend on chatbots created by reputable firms for the time being, such as OpenAI, Bing, and Google. These big IT firms have a good reputation to preserve and are more likely to put user security first. Use chatbots from smaller, less well-known firms only after their reliability has been confirmed.
Verify Developer Information
Consider reading the developer details before installing an app. The majority of legitimate applications are created by respectable firms or developers. Look for the developer’s contact details, website connections, and a history of previous successful applications. This will support securing the legitimacy and dependability of the app.
Observe the official websites
It is advised that you investigate the legitimacy of an AI chatbot service by visiting its official website. Companies like OpenAI, Google, and Microsoft often provide details about their official programs as well as direct download links that are safe and secure. You may reduce the likelihood of selecting phony alternatives by downloading programs from reputable websites that the suppliers themselves promote.
Safeguard Your Personal Data
No matter which chatbot you choose, you should never give out private information like your contact or financial data, or Social Security number. Major IT businesses and other legitimate chatbot providers don’t ask for such sensitive information from consumers. Protect your private information and only divulge it to dependable sources.
Make careful to read a variety of reviews before installing any apps. However, be wary of relying only on favorable ratings since con artists often fake them to make their applications seem trustworthy. Use discretion and take into account both good and negative criticism. It is recommended to err on the side of caution and avoid installing an app if it causes any uncertainty or anxiety.
Observe Requests and Permissions
When you install a new program, be sure that you pay close attention to the permissions that it requests. If an app requests too many rights that don’t appear to be necessary for it to operate, be wary. Don’t provide permissions for anything that isn’t absolutely necessary for the app to function properly. This will assist in preserving your privacy and preventing data exploitation.
Maintain Software Updates
Update the operating system, applications, and security software on your smartphone on a regular basis. It is common practice for updates to include both bug fixes and security patches that address previously identified vulnerabilities. Maintaining updated software improves the security of your device and shields it from any attacks.
Use trustworthy antivirus programs
On all of your gadgets, install trusted antivirus software. A good antivirus program shields you from hackers and stops you from clicking on harmful links that might install malware. Your personal information is protected thanks to this additional safeguard.
Use caution while investigating new AI chatbots in a world where phony applications are common. Give respectable, well-established firms’ applications first priority. Read reviews, do your homework, and only download from authorized sources. Don’t forget to keep your gadgets updated with reputable security software and protect your sensitive information. You may lessen your likelihood of becoming a victim of phony AI chatbot programs by adhering to these recommendations.
What are fake AI chatbot apps?
Fake AI chatbot apps are bogus programs that pretend to be able to do the same tasks as legitimate ones, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. These applications are meant to trick users into installing them and then force them to pay to utilize basic functions.
How can I identify fake AI chatbot apps?
Fake AI chatbot applications utilize a wide variety of tactics. They publish fraudulent, favorable evaluations to boost their app’s reputation and falsely claim to have features comparable to those of established chatbots. Poor functionality and dependability are often cited as reasons for users’ dissatisfaction with these applications.
What are some instances of fake AI chatbot applications?
One such bogus AI chatbot program is “Chat GBT,” which charges customers a monthly fee without providing any useful service. Conversations can only go so far before the “AI Chatbot Assistant” forces you to pay for a premium membership. The “Chat AI Ask Chatbot Assistant” app tricks users into paying a weekly membership fee by mimicking the OpenAI branding. In spite of its freemium model, “Genie – AI Chatbot” heavily promotes premium memberships. The “Open Chat with AI Chatbot AI” feature is limiting since it constantly asks for ratings, subscriptions, and annoying advertisements.
How can I find fake AI chatbot apps?
Adhere to these safety measures to avoid being duped by phony artificial intelligence chatbot apps:
1. Stay away from questionable download sources and instead use legitimate app shops such as the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
2. Chatbots from OpenAI, Bing, and Google are all good options to consider.
3. Developer credentials, such as contact data and a track record of successful applications, should be checked.
4. For trusted and safe download links, please visit the chatbot service’s official website.
5. Avoid giving out crucial information to random people online.
6. Take into account both the good and negative comments you find in the reviews you read.
7. Take care not to provide any app access you won’t need.
8. Keep your OS, programs, and security software up-to-date.
9. For added safety, make sure your gadgets are equipped with reliable antivirus software.
How can I protect myself from fake AI chatbot apps?
Take these measures to reduce your vulnerability to bogus artificial intelligence chatbot apps:
1. Consider proposals from well-known, established businesses first.
2. Before you download an app, make sure you read several reviews about it.
3. Avoid malware by only downloading programs from legitimate app stores.
4. Always use the most recent app version on your devices.
5. Safeguard your computer against viruses and hackers by using a reputable antivirus program.
6. Avoid giving up any critical information or personal details to random people online.