The rise of AI-based fraud in the digital age
08 August 2023


The rise of AI-based fraud in the digital age

Artificial Intelligence (AI), gives computers the ability to think, learn, problem solve and make decisions independantly. While this has yieled some amazing techmnology, there is also the potential for AI to be used in less than honest ways.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), gives computers the ability to think, learn, problem solve and make decisions independently. While this has yielded some amazing technology, there is also the potential for AI to be used in less than honest ways.

AI technology was originally developed to protect computerised systems and personal information, teaching computers to detect potential cybersecurity breaches, to rapidly analyse data, and to make recommendations with increased accuracy. Today, we rely heavily on AI daily to track our fitness by setting step goals, to manage our schedule by setting reminders and diarising meetings, to organise our social lives by finding suggestions for places to go or things to do and assisting with our work and academic endeavours by sourcing quick and relevant information. AI is no longer an implausible, futuristic idea. It is here.

AI can quite easily be exploited for illegitimate, malicious purposes. Here are some examples:


ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, can be used by scammers to create and personalise content to make it more convincing – in other words, to tailor it to victims. ChatGPT can also be used to create legitimate-sounding phishing emails or messages, to generate phone scripts to impersonate customer care agents or even to impersonate others.

AI may be abused to create deepfake audio and video clips. It can even collect audio data to clone a loved one’s voice using only 3 seconds of audio, often available online (via TikTok or YouTube). Failing that, it can simply be collected by recording a spam call.


Generative-AI can also be used to create fake videos – for example, a message from some or other CEO – and may be used to fabricate online profiles, or to create realistic images of fake products or services for ‘sale’.

AI can be used to instantaneously generate large volumes of realistic looking data, create lists of fake users with fabricated information to be sold or used to create malicious accounts, or to analyse financial transactions to identify patterns or loopholes for exploitation. Using machine or deep learning, AI can even be exploited to analyse and monitor social media for susceptible targets.

Given the considerable application for malicious exploitation, there are a few reasons why someone might use AI for fraudulent purposes:

  • AI systems can be used to manipulate online profiles or accounts to make them appear more like the person being impersonated.
  • The fake information generated by AI is convincing, and often difficult for humans to detect as fraudulent.
  • AI easily mimics information to create fake websites, social media accounts, or generate reviews to manipulate online ratings.
  • Phone numbers or email addresses can be spoofed to deceive people into thinking that they are communicating with a legitimate entity.

Stay safe

AI capabilities have improved significantly in recent years, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between writing produced by AI or by a person. There are however some details that assist in identifying the tell-tale signs of machine-generated content versus human patterns. Some examples include the lack of nuance and variation in style and tone that characterise human writing. Also, look out for repetitive or formulaic language, uncommon grammar and syntax errors, reduced cohesion in writing, and the inclusion of contextually irrelevant or unrelated information. Generative-AI also tends to lack clear transitions or logical connections.

While we may not be totally able to escape online fraud and various digital scams, not letting one's guard down and knowing how to act in the aftermath of being a victim is vital.

Click here for more tips on how to avoid falling victim to digital fraud.

For a wider range of articles to broaden your knowledge of the dangers prevalent online, check out our digital fraud overview.