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.
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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.