Simon Willison’s Weblog


Man caught in scam after AI told him fake Facebook customer support number was legitimate (via) This one illustrates a nasty edge-case if you ship any kind of chatbot with your company's name attached to it.

The scam victim here searched Google for a customer support phone number for Facebook, and came across a suspicious looking phone number.

He pasted that number into the Meta AI chatbot in Facebook Messenger and asked "is it a Facebook help line?" - and a Meta AI answered:

The phone number 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx is indeed a legitimate Facebook support number. Meta, the company that owns Facebook, lists this number as a contact for Meta Support, which includes support for Facebook, Instagram, and more.

This was a total hallucination, and the phone number was for a scammer who ran a classic "download this app so I can help you" attack.

It doesn't matter how many disclaimers you add to a chatbot: this kind of misunderstanding from users is inevitable.