AI Makes Phishing Scams Seem Legitimate

AI Makes Phishing Scams Seem Legitimate

AI is a Hacker’s New Best Friend 

Just when you thought you could spot a phishing email by its bad grammar and punctuation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the game. Now, generative AI programs like ChatGPT are helping hackers write in perfect English and even mimic the style of trusted companies and individuals.

And it’s only expected to worsen as threat actors use AI tools for highly targeted and sophisticated social engineering attacks. As a reminder, social engineering is the art of manipulating, influencing, or deceiving you to gain control over your computer system. AI can also be used to write malware or help plan cyberattacks.

Holiday Scams Are on the Increase

Two and half times more people are expected to shop online for Black Friday deals than those shopping in person, and this trend is projected to last through the holiday season. As more people shop online, scams will continue to grow, with many undoubtedly aided by AI tools. However, even before the proliferation of AI, the stats were already looking bad.

  • About half of consumers who said they’ve been targeted by an online holiday shopping or phishing scheme ended up getting scammed, according to a new survey by Norton.
  • It is estimated that Americans lost $2.7 billion to social media scams on sites like Facebook and Instagram, according to a recent Federal Trade Commission report.

Safe Online Shopping Tips for the Holidays and Always:

  • Be leery of imposter scams. Fueled by the rise in AI technology, scammers pretending to be a company or someone you know are arriving more frequently to emails, messages, and social media posts. Double-check the sender’s information before sharing anything with them or clicking on any links.
  • Avoid using work devices for online shopping. The risk is too high to leave the company system vulnerable.
  • Only make purchases over your home network or cellular network. Never use public Wi-Fi where your payment could be intercepted.
  • Follow the 4 Core Behaviors recommended by the National Cybersecurity Alliance:
    1. Use unique passwords.
    2. Use Multi-factor authentication (MFA).
    3. Keep software up to date.
    4. Learn to recognize and report phishing.

Get more details on these behaviors in our blog posts about passwords, MFA, and phishing.

Let the privacy and security experts at PrivaPlan help your organization stay cyber-aware and mitigate risks. Contact us today at or 877-218-7707.

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