Google has announced in a blog post today that it will be taking legal action against two groups of scammers who are using the Bard name and the hype around both it, and generative AI, to profit from unsuspecting and vulnerable groups of people.
The groups have been using two methods to exploit users, one has been making use of public enthusiasm to spread malware, by creating fraudulent social media pages and ads encouraging people to “download” Bard, while the other has been creating dozens of Google accounts and using them to submit thousands of fraudulent copyright notices, abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
When talking about the first group of bad actors, Google says that it has filed “roughly 300 takedowns” related to this group, and that it is “seeking an order to stop the scammers from setting up domains like these and allowing [it] to have them disabled with U.S. domain registrars.” Google is hoping that it is successful so that there is a “clear mechanism for preventing similar scams in the future.”
The second group, who are weaponising existing copyright law, are facing a lawsuit from Google as the fraudulent claims from this group have resulted in the removal of “over 100,000 businesses’ websites, costing them millions of dollars and thousands of hours in lost employee time.” Again, Google is banking on this lawsuit deterring others from conducting similar activities.
Google went on to say that it hopes “these efforts protect and preserve the unprecedented culture of innovation in the United States. Just as A.I. fraudsters and copyright scammers hope to fly under the radar — [it believes] that appropriate legal action and working with government officials puts scammers squarely in the crosshairs of justice, promoting a safer internet for everyone.”
This isn’t the first time that Google has sought legal action against groups of scammers that have been using its products to coordinate attacks against users, having gone after groups engaged in pet scams in April 2022, and those who seek to trick small businesses back in 2018.