AI generated profiles, images swarm dating and social media platforms, finds study

As Valentine’s Day approaches, scammers are increasingly using AI-generated text and images to lure victims on dating and social media platforms

February 12, 2024 04:45 pm | Updated 04:55 pm IST

77% Indians participating in a study said they have come across fake profiles/photos that looked AI-generated on dating platforms and social media.

77% Indians participating in a study said they have come across fake profiles/photos that looked AI-generated on dating platforms and social media. | Photo Credit: AP

77% Indians participating in a study said they have come across fake profiles/photos that looked AI-generated on dating platforms and social media. The study further revealed that 39% Indians had conversations with a potential love interest online that turned out to be with a scammer.

The increasing prevalence and ease of access to AI has also impacted the online dating space, with 26% of respondents participating in the study saying the potential love interest they interacted with was an AI-generated bot and not a real person.

The numbers are alarming, keeping in mind that 91% of Indians say they, or someone they know, have been contacted by a stranger through social media or text message and stared to “chat” with them regularly to know them better.

Conducted by McAfee as part of its annual “Modern Love” study, the survey further revealed that 56% Indians are motivated to use AI to write Valentine’s Day messages to their love interest. While an 81% of Indians reported receiving a better response rate when using AI-generated content rather than using their own original content.

(For top technology news of the day, subscribe?to our tech newsletter Today’s Cache)

However, 60% of the respondents said they would be hurt or offended if they found their Valentine’s message was written using artificial intelligence.

Dating platforms have been used by scammers to launch phishing attacks or dupe individuals. And around Valentine’s Day, these scams witness an uptick. MacAfee reports that Valentine-related malware campaigns saw a 25% surge, while malicious URLs and a variety of romance-themed spam and email scams increased by 300%, and 400% respectively. The majority of these scams and spam emails were found to focus on Valentine’s shopping and gifts.

“Unfortunately, we know cybercriminals also use AI to scale malicious activity. With love-seekers spending more time online leading up to Valentine’s Day, scammers are using AI to pose as love interests to steal your money or personal information. We encourage people to balance romantic hope with healthy skepticism, to pause before sharing sensitive information online, and to ensure they use the right tools to protect their privacy, identity, and personal information,” Steve Grobman, McAfee’s Chief Technology Officer said.

The study is based on an online survey of 7,000 adults from 7 countries included the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, India, and Japan.

How to recognise online romance and AI scams
Scrutinize any direct messages you receive from a love interest, via a dating app or social media.
Perform a reverse-image search of any profile pictures the person uses to verify the identity of the individual.
Never send money or gifts to someone you haven’t met in person, even if they send you money first. This is a common method used by scammers to lure individuals into transferring large sums of money after building trust with the victim.
Pay attention to the potential love interests online presence and approach cautiously before getting close to someone online.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news