AI emerges as new tool for online scammers: Survey

NEW DELHI: AI regulation may still be some time away, but scammers are increasingly riding the technological sophistication of artificial intelligence to target millions of Indians, who are spending as many as 105 minutes per week to review, verify or decide whether a message sent through text, email, social media is real or fake.
Around 82% Indians have clicked on or fallen for fake messages, shows a study by Mcafee.Amongst the sophisticated trickery, the most common forms people fall for include fake job notifications or offers (64%) andbank alert messages (52%), Mcafee said.
“AI is a scammer’s favorite tool, helping cybercriminals increase the scale and sophistication of scam messages. The speed of phishing and text message scams is on the rise. A new phishing site is created every 11 seconds. This spotlights the increasing need for solutions that turn the tables on AI scammers. There has never been a more critical time for the country’s 900 million internet users to protect themselves online,” Mcafee said in the report. The study reveals that Indians receive nearly 12 fake messages or scams each day via email, text or social media daily.
“An average Indian consumer spends 1.8 hours a week reviewing, verifying or deciding whether a message sent through text, email, social media is real or fake. 49% of Indians said that scam messages no longer have typos or errors, making them more believable and harder to identify. It’s truly a sign of the times that most Indian consumers would rather subject themselves to the pain and distress of a root canal than be subjected to scam texts and messages throughout the year,” said Roma Majumder, SVP of Product at McAfee. “And it’s not just the speed and volume, but the sophistication. Thanks to AI, it can be incredibly difficult to know if that delivery text message or bank alert notification is real or not. So much so that 73% of Indians believe they have a better shot at solving the Rubik’s cube than identifying a scam message.”
“This onslaught of scam messages is a drain on people’s time, energy, and finances. And it’s why we all need AI to beat AI. Unfortunately, seeing is no longer believing and we need to be equipped with advanced AI technology that can stop and block scam messages in real time,” Majumder added.
McAfee’s research revealed four key insights about online scams. It highlights the increased stress people are facing due to the AI driven surge in the number and sophistication of scam messages. Hence, the need for a robust AI-driven defence solution to beat AI scams. Scam-spotting takes up over two full work weeks each year for users. “About 90% of Indians surveyed indicate that they receive fake messages or scams via email and text on a daily basis, and 84% say the same about social media.”


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