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AI Scam

Watch out for AI services that make big promises — but don’t deliver 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the hot new thing. It’s revolutionizing medical research, challenging the art world, and even helping small business owners streamline and automate tasks. But as with anything new and popular, scammers quickly take advantage. When evaluating AI products for your business, look for scams.

How this scam works

The services sound amazing. You get an unsolicited call, email, or text message claiming to offer AI services for small businesses. You may even stumble across a convincing-looking ad on social media or be sent one by a friend. You’ll pay a reasonable amount upfront, and once they set the AI up, you can expect incredible benefits, such as automating all your marketing needs. If the ROI sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is.

If you engage with scammers offering phony AI services, you’ll likely lose any money you pay them. At the very least, your business information could fall into the hands of unscrupulous individuals and put you at risk for identity theft, business email compromise, and other cons.

Read the full alert for an example of this scam

How to avoid similar scams: 

  • Research before you hire. Please get to know a company before you do business with them. It requires thorough research. Review their website and social media accounts. If anything looks unprofessional, missing contact information, or doesn’t work, steer clear. Do an internet search for reviews and complaints. Search the company name and the word “scam” to find reports or dishonest business practices. You can also look up companies at BBB.org.
  • Watch out for aggressive sales tactics and far-fetched promises. These are two of scammers’ most effective tactics. If someone pressures you to buy a service, telling you you’ll miss out if you don’t act right now, or if they promise you your business will make hundreds or thousands of dollars with little to no effort on your part, it’s probably a scam.

For more information

Discover a similar scam offering fake marketing services to small business owners. Learn more about AI in the BBB Business Tip: AI for small business. Where to start? Then, visit the BBB small business page to get the latest news and tips for small business owners.

If you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. By registering your experience, you can help others avoid falling for the same scam.