Shoppers Warned About Dangers of AI Catfishing

Shoppers Warned About Dangers of AI Catfishing

( – There’s a popular saying: “If it is too good to be true, it probably is.” It’s a kernel of wisdom designed to urge people to investigate before they leap, whether it’s buying something or going to meet up with someone. However, in today’s society, it’s more important than ever that people keep this saying in mind because it can save them a lot of trouble.

Scammers are nothing new. People have continued to develop creative ways to bilk others out of their hard-earned money for ages. However, the technological landscape we have today has made it even easier for con artists to target people — and simpler for people to become victims. Buying things online is one example. With the influx of artificial intelligence tools, particularly ones that can create convincing images, experts are warning shoppers to do their research before clicking the “buy” button.

In a recent interview, NPR hosts Adrian Ma and Wailin Wong sat down with Assan Sayad, who purchased what he thought was a nice-looking bomber jacket online for the meager sum of $40. Considering they typically sell for hundreds of dollars, he thought he was getting a steal. However, when the “jacket” arrived, it wasn’t what he expected. In fact, he likened it to more of a “good-quality sweatshirt.” His tale is far from the only one of the sort.

Scammers are turning to AI to create convincing photos, hoping people won’t look too closely before they purchase an item. Fox News Digital spoke with tech expert Marva Bailer and solicited her input on the trend. She said there are “free tools that create professional images,” making it easy to create campaigns “in minutes, reaching global audiences of millions.”

Bailer explained that people on social media consume “an estimated 4,000-10,000 ads per day,” and people have a short “attention span of 8 seconds,” creating ample opportunity for fake ads to slip through. However, AI isn’t all negative. Bailer emphasized that using some of the tools, particularly in the vein of accessibility enhancements, can actually boost a retailer’s sales. It’s a matter of weeding out the good from the bad.

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