Abion / Blog / Beware of AI-enhanced counterfeit websites: Safeguard your online presence
Beware of AI-enhanced counterfeit websites: Safeguard your online presence

False online stores are not a new phenomenon, but with the assistance of AI, they have become remarkably convincing. This elevates the risk of customers mistaking them for legitimate websites.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a potent tool in the arsenal of online scammers. It's now very hard to distinguish these fake online shops from genuine ones, resulting in an increase in complaints received by consumer protection agencies.

However, it's not just consumers who should remain vigilant. Business owners should also be aware of the potential threats. If a customer confuses a scammer's website with yours, it poses a significant risk to your business.

AI: A powerful and credible tool

The fact that fake websites appear more authentic than ever makes scammers even more effective. AI has equipped scammers with a new and powerful tool for creating websites that are incredibly difficult to detect.

To safeguard your business, it's wise to stay one step ahead. This may involve regular online monitoring to detect potential infringements on your brand. An easy and effective way to do this is by using various monitoring services, such as our Web Content Watch.

"Your gut feeling is something AI can't replace

- Annette Drorsén, Attorney at law

Tips from the legal expert

The risks associated with holding intellectual property rights and the need to protect them increase as AI tools become smarter and more sophisticated. Even if you have robust protection for your brand, you should also nurture and monitor your assets.

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Implementing one or more monitoring services is crucial. These services identify potential threats, including violations of trademark rights and misuse of your domain names.

The ability to thwart scammers significantly increases when you stay ahead of the game. A monitoring service acts as proactive insurance, allowing you to take action before any damage occurs.

Web Content Watch – an effective tool for online protection

It's not just your domain at risk of being hijacked; even your content can be misused. Web Content Watch identifies websites containing specific brand names in their metadata and text content. You can enhance your company's protection against potential online threats through monitoring services.

Consumer? Consider this!

What risks do you, as a consumer, face when purchasing from a fraudulent website? Most likely, you won't receive the product you ordered. In the "best" case, you'll receive a replica, and in the worst case, scammers may gain access to your banking details. 

Before making a significant online purchase, such as a car or expensive furniture, most consumers conduct thorough research to determine if the product is worth the price. This approach and vigilance are also wise for smaller online purchases, especially when shopping online. The classic saying "too good to be true" is a rule of thumb to keep in mind.

 

When it comes to products like furniture, clothing, jewelry, and high-end handbags, they are usually sold exclusively through official websites or physical stores. Therefore, be extra cautious by verifying the legitimacy of the retailer in question.

Additionally, scrutinize the spelling throughout the entire website and be on the lookout for anything that "feels" off. This is the challenging part because AI-generated stores make it harder to see through the deception.

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3 tips before making an online purchase

  • Check spelling and the overall "feel" of the website
  • Are there contact details? Contacting the company can assist in your research
  • Examine reviews, social media, and payment options

If any of the above points create uncertainty, it's likely worth postponing the purchase. Furthermore, as AI becomes more intelligent, it will likely soon be better equipped than today to assess the legitimacy of various websites. However, always rely on your gut feeling in the end, as it's something AI can't replace.

Images

Steve Johnson via Unsplash
Emiliano Vittoriosi via Unsplash

Summary

AI-generated fake online stores pose a growing threat, increasing the risk of customers mistaking them for genuine websites. Both consumers and business owners are advised to be vigilant about these threats. Monitoring services like Web Content Watch can help business owners monitor and protect their intellectual property rights. For consumers, it's wise to thoroughly review websites before making significant online purchases and follow a set of precautions. And remember, despite the increasing presence of AI, your gut feeling remains an essential tool for identifying online fraud.

annette.drorsén

Author

Annette Drorsén

Attorney at law

Contact me

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