Google has filed a lawsuit against individuals in India and Vietnam, alleging that they have been running Bard Ads on Facebook, targeting small and medium business owners in the USA. When clicked, these ads redirect and install malware on their systems that steal social media credentials.
As per Google’s lawsuit filed on Monday, the cybercriminals tricked SMB owners into clicking the Facebook Ad by offering them a downloadable version of Google Bard’s AI chatbot, which is only available as a web-based platform. As soon as the victim clicked on the advertisement, the credential-stealer malware was installed on their device, sending back social media logins to the cybercriminals.
The ads, impersonated to look like an official post by Google, are being run under account names like Google AI, AIGoogle.Plus, AIGoogle Bard FB and AIGoogleBard, WSJ reported.
According to the lawsuit, since Google has also officially advertised the web-based version of Bard, these scam advertisements often seek to confuse the people on the platform.
While the exact number of scam victims is unknown, Google has filed about 300 ad takedown requests. The scam isn’t limited to ads but also appears in pages and posts on Facebook. Quite often, the stolen social media credentials are also used to further propagate this scam to the seemingly unsuspecting friends circle of the profile owner.
Bard isn’t the first victim of cybercriminal scams on Facebook, capitalising on the AI rush. Earlier this year, Facebook blocked over a thousand URLs offering ChatGPT-based tools.
In the News: Zelle begins refunding imposter scams