Google Files Lawsuit to Stop Scammers From Impersonating Bard

Scammers have been tricking users into downloading "Google Bard," which turns out to be nothing more than malware.

As is common with any big technological advancement, the AI boom over the last year has paved the way for a myriad of new scams. From AI-assisted phishing attempts to voice cloning plots, AI scams continue to pop up out of nowhere with the goal of stealing money and personal information from users.

Fortunately, Google has plans to put a stop to at least one scam by suing the culprits for their nefarious behavior.

Google Sues Malware Scammers

Announced by Google this week, the tech giant has officially filed a lawsuit against a group of scammers that have been using Google branding to trick users into downloading malware instead of the company's AI chatbot Bard.

“As public excitement in new generative AI tools has increased, scammers are increasingly taking advantage of unsuspecting users.” – Halimah DeLaine Prado, general counsel for Google

The lawsuit isn't Google only recourse for stopping this kind of behavior. The company noted in the announcement that it had already filed 300 takedowns related to the group, but that the lawsuit will take a more proactive approach to stop them from happening in the future.

How the Google Bard Scam Works

The Google Bard scam in question isn't that complicated, but unfortunately, that's what makes it so successful. Scammers simply created social media pages and ran ads that claimed to provide users with a download link to use Google Bard, the increasingly popular AI chatbot from the tech giant.

However, instead of downloading Google Bard, the link would download malware onto the unsuspecting user's device. This malware would then be used to steal login credentials for the user's social media accounts, compromising their security across the web.

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The problem has been persistent over the last few months, with Google Bard and ChatGPT both seeing an increase in scammers using their services to trick users into downloading malware onto their devices.

Check out our Google Bard vs ChatGPT guide to see how they match up

Is Google Bard Safe to Use?

Avoiding the Google Bard scam is actually quite easy. All you have to do is never download anything that claims to be Google Bard or any Google AI software, as the service is available to users without the need for a download in the first place.

Beyond that, though, Google Bard as safe as any AI chatbot to use on a regular basis. The company does store your data by default for 18 months, although you can change that setting to as little as three months and as long as 36 months, according to the privacy policy for Google Bard.

It's important to note that the generative AI boom over the last year has opened up the door for a lot of scammers to take advantage. In fact, one study found that there are “virtually unlimited” ways to dodge AI safety guidelines, which means that you need to be extra vigilant if you want to avoid getting scammed.

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Written by:
Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.
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