ChatGPT Scam: Beware of these fake apps that steal your money
Beware of ChatGPT scams that are stealing money from several users around the world.
It is not uncommon for scammers to take advantage of the latest trends or technological innovations to carry out financial fraud against users who are not very attentive or not up to date. The technological innovation targeted by scammers in this case is ChatGPT , an advanced language model developed by OpenAI, capable of understanding and generating text in a coherent way. In fact , with the growing popularity of artificial intelligence , curious and inexperienced users are increasingly carelessly downloading anything that resembles ChatGPT.
The company specializing in IT security , Sophos Let us remember, however, that ChatGPT is free.
How the ChatGPT scam works
The scam involving ChatGPT is called "fleeceware". This term refers to a type of fraudulent behavior associated with apps available in online stores. It refers to deceptive practices in which app developers try to deceive users' money.
The scam is in fact perpetrated through some apps available on Play and Apple Store . These apps promise functions similar to those of ChatGPT and guarantee the user a free trial of the service which, in fact, is paid .
This is where the scam begins. These apps are initially offered for free, with no reference to the subscriptions needed to unlock basic features. After starting a free trial , however, very high costs are charged without warning for the subscription and other additional services for which the user was tricked into signing up through misleading and deceptive tactics. Furthermore, subscriptions are difficult to cancel.
To attract users, these apps use fake reviews and misleading ads especially on social platforms. Here advertising is cheap and the audience reached is huge.
The list of ChatGPT apps to watch out for
In the report “FleeceGPT Mobile Apps Target AI-Curious to Rake in Cash” Sophos X-Ops urges you to be careful about AI Chat - Chatbot AI Assistant and Genie AI Chatbot, both fake apps based on ChatGPT.
Other apps we recommend paying attention to are:
AI Chat Open Assistant Chatbot
Chat AI - AI Chatbot Assistant
Ask AI - Chat with Chatbot
In the case of the GBT Chat app , scammers/developers use the similarity of the name to the original one to improve the app's ranking in stores. Furthermore, typos in the app's name serve, as Sophos claims, to exclude more experienced people. These apps have nothing to do with OpenAI or ChatGPT and violate OpenAI's terms and conditions.
How to protect yourself from ChatGPT scams
OpenAI makes ChatGPT available for free, while these apps cost between $10 and $70 a month and offer no added value.
While many fraudulent apps have been removed, new ones will likely be developed. The only weapon to defend yourself is education and knowledge. You should be aware of the existence of this type of scam app and always read the descriptions and reviews carefully before subscribing to anything, even a free trial. It is also recommended to report apps to Apple and Google if found to be fraudulent, so that they can be removed.