June 15, 2024

Remind Yourself: utilizing reverse image search can be incredibly advantageous

Mannequin in suit

What happens when an attorney is not really an attorney?

In this era of AI, surfing the internet proves to be particularly peculiar. In the past, one could be relatively certain that a snapshot of an individual along with a rundown of professional credentials symbolized an actual real person. All of that is in doubt in 2024. Last year, an outrage over AI-generated portraits and seemingly fabricated authors at Sports Illustrated resulted in significant upheaval within the very magazine. But this sort of unethical AI use appears to be only the beginning.

As presented in a fresh probe by 404 Media, Jason Koebler has uncovered a particularly intricate trick aimed to augment visits to certain sites. This strategy entails sending intimidating messages to website owners accusing them of incorrect usage of images, also suggesting that they fix the infringement by adding a link to an unrelated website. If you sense something suspicious, you’re correct — and this is even before the sham AI-generated lawyers enter the picture.

The feature highlights Ernie Smith, who runs a newsletter named Tedium which explores lengthy compelling subjects. He received an intimidating letter from the so-called Commonwealth Legal — only to become suspicious after a bit of sleuthing. He noticed inconsistencies such as the displayed image of the law firm’s location failing to match other photos of the same address.

Further investigation revealed that the named attorneys did not exist beyond this context. Also, reverse image searches disclosed a now-defunct website named Generated.Photos which claimed to create images of fictitious individuals.

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On a larger scale, this matter is both farcical and somewhat disturbing. In Smith’s case, the con artists targeted an internet-savvy individual who was able to see right through their scam. This raises concerns about how many people might be receiving similar communications and mistakenly believing they are authentic.

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