Have you ever received a message from a major brand telling you that you have won a prize? It’s like a human talking to you. But is it real?
As the world becomes more digital, cybercriminals are finding new ways to trick users into providing their personal information. One of these tricks is a Chatbot Scam.
What is a Chatbot Scam?
A slightly more sophisticated version of phishing scams where a fake website and chatbot are set up. In a chatbot scam, the scammer creates a fake version of the brand you trust and then places a chatbot on that page to make it seem more legit. The whole scam relies on building trust with the person to obtain information and credentials.
How does it work?
Chatbot scams usually start with an email informing the recipient that their online account, such as a bank, E-commerce site, or social media account will be deleted within 48 hours for violating certain community standards. A recent example of this scam came from Facebook.
The recent chatbot scam involved email warning users of an account suspension in 48 hours. This email contained a link that redirected users to a fake Facebook Messenger support page hosted by Google Firebase, where chatbots interact with the person. The phony support chatbot profile appeared to be a fan or business with no followers or posts. However, the attackers’ use of the official Messenger logo on the profile page made the bot appear legitimate. In the Appeal form, the user entered their name, surname, email address, page name, and mobile number.
As soon as the user clicked the Submit button, the attackers received the form and all the account credentials of a person. This was enough to perform identity theft and gain access to accounts to perform other malicious activities.
5 Tips To Stay Safe From Chatbot Scam:
- Check the URL: Never submit information on any site without confirming that you are at the correct URL for the offered service.
- Contact the Brand/company from a different source: If you are being offered a refund for any service, contact that service from any other mode such as phone call or visit in person to confirm it is not a scam before filling out any related information.
- Report: Report to Facebook or the official body if you feel suspicious about the page.
- Be wary of trusting easily: Always be wary with messages announcing a big prize,” If it sounds too good to be true, it definitely is!
- Do your research: Search for the organization online, and search for the offer that the chatbot is sharing with you.
Furthermore, it is always best to be cautious when engaging with someone on Facebook or social media. In case you are unsure about the legitimacy of a user or chatbot, do not provide any personal information and report them.