Chat Bots Aren't Your Friends, So Don't Spill The Tea


As the use of these new tools has continued to grow, the consumer experience of interacting with AI in order to receive assistance has become more commonplace. We are becoming more familiar and more trusting of chat bots and AI tools over time. However, alongside their legitimate uses, a darker side has emerged: bad actors have begun to proliferate fraudulent AI tools and chat bots.

What Does a Fraudulent AI Service Look Like?

As AI technology continues to improve, so do the tactics of cybercriminals. Fraudulent AI and chat bots are crafted to mimic legitimate services, and are often indistinguishable from their authentic counterparts to the untrained eye. These malicious entities can appear in various forms, including fake customer support bots, phishing bots, and malicious AI-driven applications.

Their primary goal is to extract sensitive information from unsuspecting users, such as login credentials, financial details, and personal identification data.

In an effort to cut costs, huge numbers of companies are jumping on the AI bandwagon and are attempting to replace as much of their customer service as possible with AI-assisted tools. This means that we, as consumers, are being made more and more comfortable with providing personal data to these bots. And with comfort and familiarity comes an increased likelihood that we let our guard down when interacting with AI.

Further, chat bots are becoming more sophisticated. Ten years ago, these chat bots could at best relay the same information from a website's FAQ. Now they can hold conversations. They can be programmed to relax us, lulling us into a sense of security, or to panic us and cause us to make rash decisions. They can be programmed to be extremely persuasive and manipulative to get users to divulge the information it's looking for.

There is little in place to protect consumers from the knock-on effect of the widespread employment of chat bots and AI. It is on us to be vigilant and to try to recognise the signs.

The Goal of Fraudulent Chat Bots

The mechanism for data compromise by these chat bots can be categorised into three main archetypes:

  • Phishing and Social Engineering: Fraudulent chat bots often employ sophisticated social engineering techniques to trick users into divulging personal information. For instance, a user might receive a message from what appears to be their bank's customer service bot, requesting verification of their account details to resolve an issue. Believing the communication to be legitimate, the user provides the requested information, which is then extracted for the bad actor to use.
  • Malware Distribution: Some fraudulent AI and chat bots are designed to distribute malware. By persuading users to download a seemingly harmless file or click on a link, these bots can infect devices with malicious software that harvests data or provides remote access to cybercriminals.
  • Data Harvesting: Fake bots can be embedded in websites that closely resemble those of legitimate services. However users interact with these interfaces, whatever text they enter or buttons they press, they unknowingly input information into a fraudulent system. Some of this information could be very sensitive. For example, a fraudulent chat bot on an ecommerce website might capture credit card details and personal addresses under the guise of assisting with a purchase.

The moment that chat bot receives that data, even if it was in a message that was typed and never sent, that data can be considered compromised. Depending on the type of information that has been shared, the chat bot's unsuspecting victim is now at risk of several different forms of further attack. They are vulnerable to incidents of identity theft, of having their bank accounts and other financial assets accessed and emptied, of having their reputation damaged (this in particular is more likely to be the outcome of an AI-assisted spear phishing campaign), and also are at risk of legal consequences.

How Can I Protect Myself?

There are several proactive steps that consumers can take to protect themselves from the dangers posed by fraudulent AI and chat bots.

First and foremost, it is essential to remain vigilant and skeptical during your communications with chat bots, especially those requesting personal information. This is absolutely key. You must acknowledge that things on the internet are not as they appear. It is easy for a bad actor to put together an extremely convincing website, and it is also easy for them to create an AI that will push you for your data. If your interactions with AI involves personal information belonging to you or others, even something as simple as providing an order reference number or an email address, pause and check the authenticity of the service. You can verify the authenticity of such requests by contacting the organization directly through official channels.

Additionally, consumers should use strong, unique passwords for their online accounts and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible to add an extra layer of security. This will assist you in case you accidentally fall victim to a phishing template, or a particularly convincing chat bot. Keeping software and devices up to date with the latest security patches can also mitigate vulnerabilities that malicious bots might exploit, especially those that aim to disseminate malware.

Staying informed about emerging threats can also enhance your ability to recognize and avoid fraudulent activities. Make sure you return to the White Blue Ocean newsroom regularly for the latest trends in the cybersecurity landscape.


While AI and chat bots offer remarkable benefits to organisations, their misuse by malicious actors poses significant risks to the personal data security of consumers. Companies want you to be able to trust their chat bots so they can provide you a streamlined user experience, but you, as a service user, should not allow yourself to trust every AI tool and chat bot you encounter. They are not your friends. If you make the mistake of spilling the tea to a fraudulent chat bot, especially if that tea is hot, you are going to get burnt.

By understanding the mechanisms of data compromise and taking steps to mitigate the risks of these attacks, individuals can better protect themselves against the threat of fraudulent AI and chat bots. Vigilance and education are crucial in safeguarding of your personal information.


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