Google Takes Legal Action Against AI Chatbot Scammers

The scammers allegedly used Google's trademarks to trick users into downloading malware, gaining access to social media credentials.

Google Takes Legal Action Against AI Chatbot Scammers
Google Takes Legal Action Against AI Chatbot Scammers

Google has initiated legal proceedings against three fraudulent individuals because they produced counterfeit advertisements, among other things, promoting updates to Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot Bard, which infects users with malware when downloaded.

The November 13 lawsuit identifies the defendants as “DOES 1-3,” who choose to remain anonymous. Scammers, according to Google, “utilized its trademarks about its AI products, including Bard, Google, and Google AI,” to “entice unsuspecting victims into downloading malware onto their computers.”

It provided an instance of deceptive social media pages and content featuring its trademarks that invited users to download free versions of Bard and other AI products, giving the impression that the platform was developed by Google.

Google Takes Legal Action Against AI Chatbot Scammers

Screenshot of fake “Google AI” social media page used by scammers. Source: Court documents (Google)

As per Google’s statement, users who are not cautious inadvertently download the malware by clicking on the links, which is how it gains access to their social media login credentials.

The malware primarily targets advertisers and businesses. In addition to any other relief deemed “just and equitable” by the court, The Tech Giant is seeking damages, an award of attorneys’ fees, permanent injunctive relief for injuries inflicted by the defendants, all profits obtained by the con artists, and a comprehensive restraining order.

A significant increase in the number of consumers of AI services, including chatbot services, has occurred concurrently with the lawsuit.

Recent statistics indicate that the Bard algorithm on Google receives 49.7 million unique visitors per month. ChatGPT, a widely utilized AI chatbot service offered by OpenAI, amasses a monthly user base of over 100 million and attracts an impressive 1.5 billion visitors to its website.

This increase in the availability and prevalence of AI services has also prompted numerous lawsuits against the technology’s developers.

In the past year, OpenAI, Google, and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, have all been embroiled in legal disputes.

Alphabet users and copyright proprietors, representing “millions of class members,” filed a class-action lawsuit against Google in July.

The plaintiffs alleged that Alphabet had infringed upon the privacy and property rights of the class members. It occurred after Google’s privacy policy update, which included data harvesting capabilities intended for AI training.