Google sues scammers that use Bard to 'exploit' the public

Hey Google sign at CES 2018
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google details that it is suing two groups of scammers, who seem to stem from Vietnam, for scamming users.
  • One group has been found tricking users through social media posts and ads into downloading malware through the false promise of Google Bard access.
  • The second has created "dozens" of Google accounts to submit false DMCA (copyright) claims against more than 10,000 businesses.

Google announces that it is proceeding with legal action against two groups of online scammers who have taken advantage of its AI chatbot, Bard. In the company's official blog post, Google states each group went about "exploiting" the public in its own way due to an increase in public excitement for generative AI. This has spurred Google to issue two lawsuits, one for each group that has gone about scams in a different way.

Information about the lawsuits, obtained by The Verge, states both groups are based in Vietnam and have been using social media to do their bidding.

According to Google, one group has been tricking users into downloading malware when searching for information about Bard and more of its AI tools. These social media posts — and ads — were found to contain download buttons for users to click on to gain access to the AI chatbot despite the bot's free online availability. Those who unfortunately did download such malware lost their social media accounts.

Google adds it is "seeking an order to stop the scammers from setting up domains like these and allow us to have them disabled with U.S. domain registrars." There have been 300 takedowns filed by Google since April involving this initial group of scammers.

The company continues with the second group, which is under a microscope for its "abuse" and "bogus" use of copyright infringement (DMCA) messages to harm competitors. The second group did this by creating "dozens" of Google accounts to then submit fake copyright claims against others. The company states these fake submissions resulted in the removal of over 10,000 websites and delivered a heartbreaking loss of money and time for those businesses.

As Google sues the two groups of scammers over their unlawful actions, the company has ramped up its efforts in a couple of areas to reduce the risk of scams. Back in May, the company brought a BIMI authentication system to Gmail, which included blue verification checkmarks for emails. The idea is to help users weed out fake emails from would-be wrongdoers to avoid spam and phishing attempts.

Elsewhere, Google Messages automatically blocks what it deems to be spam messages from those who'd potentially do users harm. There is a way for users to see those messages just in case the service blocked the wrong person by tapping your account icon > Spam & Blocked.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.