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77% Indians Swiped Right on Fake Love: Latest Report Shows Boom in AI Romance Scams | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans


A staggering 77 per cent Indians have reported encountering fake profiles or AI-generated photos on dating platforms or social media, according to the latest ‘Modern Love’ study conducted by McAfee.

The study, which surveyed 7,000 individuals across seven countries, including India, sheds light on the growing influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in the realm of online romance and the concerning implications for the rise of cat-fishing and romance scams. The survey was conducted online in January 2024 by Market Research Company, MSI-ACI, via email, inviting individuals aged 18 and older to complete an online questionnaire.

Furthermore, the prevalence of romance scams is alarming, with 39 per cent Indians revealing that their interactions with potential love interests online turned out to be with scammers. Even more concerning is the revelation that 26 per cent respondents had unwittingly engaged in conversations with AI-generated bots rather than real individuals.

The allure of AI in online dating is undeniable, with 65 per cent Indians admitting to using AI tools, such as ChatGPT, to enhance their profiles or craft messages. As Valentine’s Day approaches, 56 per cent Indians are considering utilising AI to compose messages for their love interests, citing a boost in confidence.

However, this reliance on AI-generated content has sparked mixed feelings among recipients, with 60 per cent expressing potential hurt or offence upon discovering that their Valentine’s messages were penned by machines.

Despite the risks, the effectiveness of AI in generating interest and responses cannot be ignored, as evidenced by 81 per cent respondents reporting better outcomes with AI-generated content compared to their original messages.

Steve Grobman, McAfee’s Chief Technology Officer, emphasised the dual nature of AI in online dating, stating: “The possibilities of AI are endless, and unfortunately, so are the perils… we know cybercriminals also use AI to scale malicious activity. With love-seekers spending more time online leading up to Valentine’s Day, scammers are using AI to pose as love interests to steal your money or personal information.”

With Valentine’s Day serving as a prime opportunity for cybercriminals, McAfee urges individuals to exercise caution online and offers practical steps for protection. These include scrutinising messages for AI-generated patterns, conducting reverse-image searches on profile pictures, refraining from sending money or gifts to unknown individuals, and seeking counsel from trusted friends or family members.

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    first published: February 12, 2024, 13:55 IST

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