Investment scams are surging online, says FTC
Online crooks are continuing to cash in. Consumers reported they were scammed out of $8.8 billion last year, up 30% from 2021, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The most lucrative scam was online investment fraud, with reported losses of $3.8 billion, up 115% from 2021. The average loss reported by investment fraud victims was $5,000
The most common fraud was the impostor scam, where criminals contact victims by email or phone posing as business representatives, computer-repair technicians, government officials or friends and relatives asking for money or personal information. Victims lost an average of $1,000 in this type of scam.
The numbers understate the actual amount lost because many victims do not report scams to authorities.
Microsoft tweaks AI chatbot again
Microsoft has again made changes to its sometimes-unruly Bing AI chatbot. After Bing AI started giving bizarre responses, Microsoft limited the number of questions a person could ask per session to five, noting “long chat sessions confused the underlying model.” But complaints from users prompted Microsoft to temporarily raise that number to six, with the ultimate goal of bringing back longer chats.
Google expands ‘Magic Eraser’
Google’s Magic Eraser, an innovative photo-editing feature built in to the company’s latest Pixel smartphones, will be available to users of other smartphones, including the iPhone. But there’s a catch. To use Magic Eraser on non-Pixel phones, you must be a subscriber to Google One, the company’s cloud storage service. Magic Eraser allows users to remove unwanted people or distracting objects from a photo.
E-bike batteries causing NYC fires
Lithium ion batteries used to power electric bicycles and scooters have sparked 22 fires that caused 36 injuries and two deaths in New York City this year, according to city officials. Many of the fires have been caused by malfunctioning devices left to charge overnight and placed in a hallway or near a door where they can trap people inside a burning apartment. — AP