Is this a bot? Or, is that a person? Is it spam texting? Or is it a marketing ploy?
When accessing webpages, notifications, and communications online, you, as a user may frequently be ask queries like these. These inquiries are not only appropriate, but also crucial. While using AI and chatbots to navigate the online world has both benefits and drawbacks, it’s crucial to know how to recognize fraudulent AI communication in order to safeguard yourself from scammers and online criminals.
Although there isn’t a surefire way to stop cyber crimes, remaining informed is essential to playing your part in safeguarding yourself as much as you can.
This post will show you how to notice texting spam and how to spot bogus texts. Additionally, we’ll go over how to transmit your data, contact information, and payment information securely. We’ll wrap off with five suggestions to assist you tell if the person you’re speaking to is a real person.
How to Spot Texting Spam and a Fake Text Message
The chat bot market is anticipated to grow significantly from its size in 2016—just over 190 million—to approximately 1.25 billion US dollars in 2025.
A chat bot, also known as conversational AI or a conversational bot, is AI software that is programmed to have natural language conversations via text or audio. Businesses employ chat bots software to eliminate wasteful labor, expenses, and time, particularly when handling sales and customer support inquiries. More elements of our life are becoming digital as technology develops, including anything from online banking to doctor appointments. While this may offer accessibility and ease, it also runs the danger of exposing sensitive personal data online.
Chat bot software has a problem though. They can be obtained by scammers and online criminals, or they can make their own, in order to:
- Spoof a sales or customer service representative.
- Requesting and stealing credit card numbers.
- Obtain access to personal platforms and files.
- Present phony offers and deals, then disconnect communication once you’ve paid.
- Change the payment destination by requesting it.
- Data theft, leaking, and selling
Because of this, it’s critical to learn how to notice texting spam (several spammy messages) and recognize a false text message (a single message). When you get a message from a chat bot, you should constantly ask yourself these questions:
- Is the question the chat bot is posing to me pertinent to my inquiry or opt-in form?
- Does what I’m being asked to do or provide by the chat bot make sense in light of my support request or opt-in form?
- Did the chat bot text me a pertinent link in response to my query or worry?
- Have I ever received text messages or push alerts from this sender? Were they secure enough to access and react to?
- Is the sender requesting that I disclose private data that is necessary for our transaction?
- Is the sender requesting that I perform the actions below in light of my inquiry or opt-in form?
- Was I anticipating a response from this sender?
- Are they contacting me through a website, platform, or app that I am familiar with and rely on?
- If I need to make a purchase, has the chat bot provide a secure mechanism to provide my payment information? (i.e., they checked banking information secretly and securely using a third-party platform like Stripe)
If any of the questions above were answered with a no or a maybe, pause before answering any of its queries or disclosing any personal information because it might be text spam. Think about any companies you’ve recently spoken to before you stop communicating. Have you contacted them to ask a question regarding support or to learn more about working with them? Have you signed up for a free trial, webinar, or password that you may have forgotten about?
If so, you might be getting information about something you forgot. But if you still feel uneasy about it, don’t respond. Re-send your support question or inquiry by going back to your original website or platform. After that, make a note in your calendar reminding yourself that you anticipate hearing from that company on your particular query. If a chat bot replies, go over the questions again. If you choose yes when prompted, you should be good to go. Again, no system is infallible, but you may try your best to identify a phony text message or texting spam before your data is stolen by asking smart questions; the rest is up to developers, antivirus software, and cybersecurity technologies.
How Can I Send My Data, Contact Information, and Payment Information Securely?
You must provide sensitive information to access or complete a purchase – like when you signup for a platform, request a free trial, or make an online payment for a product. However, how can you tell when it is secure to share private information like your name, email address, phone number, and payment information?
Here are some key elements to look for:
- SSL/TLS Encryption: Check if the website has a secure connection using SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) encryption. Look for a padlock icon in the address bar of your browser. This indicates that the website is using encryption to protect your data during transmission.
- HTTPS in the URL: Ensure that the website’s URL starts with “https://” instead of just “http://”. The “s” stands for secure and signifies that the connection is encrypted. Modern browsers often display a padlock icon and highlight the address bar in green for secure websites.
- Trustworthy Certificates: Click on the padlock icon in the address bar to view the website’s security certificate information. Verify that the certificate is issued by a reputable Certificate Authority (CA). If there are any errors or warnings, it’s best to avoid entering sensitive information.
- Payment Security Standards: If you are making a payment, ensure that the website follows recognized payment security standards. Look for logos or indications that they comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements. This indicates that the website has implemented strong security measures to protect your payment information.
- Secure Payment Gateways: Check if the website uses trusted and secure payment gateways. Common secure payment gateways include well-known providers such as PayPal, Stripe, or Braintree. These gateways employ robust security measures to protect your payment information during the transaction process.
- Verified Seals and Trustmarks: Look for verified seals or trustmarks on the website, such as Norton Secured, McAfee Secure, or BBB Accredited Business. These indicate that the website has undergone security assessments and meets certain standards for data protection.
- User Reviews and Reputation: Do some research on the website’s reputation and user reviews. Look for feedback regarding the security and privacy practices of the website. If there are numerous complaints or security concerns raised by users, it’s advisable to exercise caution and consider alternative options.
Remember, it’s essential to be vigilant and cautious when sharing sensitive information online. If you have any doubts about the security of a website, it’s best to refrain from providing personal or payment information and explore other trusted alternatives.
Five Ways to Tell if Someone Is a Real Human and Not a Bot
Chatbots are becoming more convincing at talking like actual humans thanks to natural language processing. The program still needs a lot more work before it can speak and act as naturally and intelligently as a real person. Although conversational AI is still in its infancy with respect to its capacity to mimic human language, the goal is for an AI to be able to mimic the subtleties of human discourse in a way that makes it difficult to tell them apart. Here are five indicators that you are speaking to a real person rather than a robot.
They adapt their responses to your inquiries.
Chatbots will occasionally respond to your comments and inquiries in a senseless manner. While it doesn’t absolutely indicate they’re messaging spam, it does make it easier to tell if you’re chatting to a real representative. Human representatives may use templates to speed up communication and establish effective procedures, but they will modify them in response to the customer’s query.
They take their time to answer your inquiries.
Chatbots have quick response times. They are programmed to produce information and solutions in milliseconds. Even though they’re quite useful for folks on the road, they’re only seldom pertinent. On the other hand, real individuals take their time to reply. They might have other clients waiting in their “line” or customer service queue, all of whom have different requirements.
They customize their responses to your issues.
When you asked for a link to the website’s refund policy page, did you get one that led to a sign-up page for a webinar? Were you given a list of questions to help the representative figure out what you needed, but none of them related to your initial support question? Then you might be conversing with an AI bot. Bots can only assist you in the ways that they were designed to. A bot might not be able to provide you the solution you’re looking for if your issue is unique or complex. A human representative, on the other hand, will tailor their response to your problem.
They do check-ins and follow-ups.
Speaking of follow-up inquiries, genuine reps keep in touch with you until the issue is resolved or to determine whether you require extra assistance. Chat bots, on the other hand, run like programs and automatically respond to users’ common questions in the present. The only follow-ups you might get from bots are automated questionnaires, feedback forms, or a request to put you in touch with an honest representative. Of course, there are spam bots that execute “follow-ups,” but they frequently aren’t logical or consistent with what you had already done. Use the questionnaire we previously gave to assist you understand how to spot fraudulent text messages if you’re unsure.
They have a personable tone.
The truth is that natural language processing only goes so far (for now), despite what chat bot programmers brag about. A bot can be trained to employ slang or everyday English, but the software isn’t as sophisticated as a human to do it consistently and comprehensively. An AI bot might ask, “How can I help you find what you need?” as an example. or “I was hoped you would return! How can I assist? However, once you respond, they could send out a few auto-prompts to find out what exactly is wrong. Even if each prompt attempts to sound “conversational,” it will not accurately reflect the organic ebb and flow of a genuine human conversation.
Even though we’ve only touched the surface, we hope that today’s post has provided some guidance on how to safeguard yourself from fraud and online crimes. Knowing the difference between a real human and an artificial intelligence (AI) can be difficult, but it’s important to be aware of it. Even while cloud computing and AI have advanced significantly, they still fall short when compared to human communication in terms of creativity, empathy, and personalization. You can determine whether you’re speaking with a live person or a chat bot more accurately if you pay attention to details like how quickly you receive a response, the language used, and the general tone.
Understanding how to deal with AI will be more and more crucial as it continues to advance and permeate our daily lives. When speaking with anyone (or anything) online or over the hosted phone system, keep your curiosity, attention, and open mind. But most importantly, be careful out there!