No, you don’t need to pay to install Google Bard – it’s a malware scam

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Google has filed lawsuits against two separate groups of scammers in an attempt to protect its users from malware using its Bard AI chatbot as a lure, and set a legal precedent to help others combat fraudsters on the internet.

In a blog post published by the company’s General Counsel, Halimah DeLaine Prado,  Google said is going after people impersonating Bard, as well as those abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). 

As per the report, the first group built Bard “apps”, which were laced with malware. Bard, as Google explains it, is a “freely available generative AI tool that does not need to be downloaded.” Then, the group would run ads promoting these apps and using the malware to compromise victims’ social media accounts.

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The importance of clear rules

Since April, Google says it has filed some 300 takedowns related to this group.

“We are seeking an order to stop the scammers from setting up domains like these and allow us to have them disabled with U.S. domain registrars,” Google says. “If this is successful, it will serve as a deterrent and provide a clear mechanism for preventing similar scams in the future.”

The second group created dozens of Google accounts and used them to submit thousands of fake copyright claims against their competitors, essentially abusing the DMCA. As a result, more than 100,000 websites belonging to various businesses were taken down, which cost the victim businesses millions of dollars and thousands of hours in wasted employee time, Google said. 

“We hope our lawsuit will not only put an end to this activity, but also deter others and raise awareness of the harm that fraudulent takedowns can have on small businesses across the country.”

“Clear rules against frauds, scams, and harassment are important — no matter how novel the setting — and we're committed to doing our part to protect the people who use the internet from abuse,” the company concluded.

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