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Tens of thousands of people in the world fell victim to this high-profile eBay scam: what does AI have to do with it

Anna BoklajukNews
The image of flowers was created with the help of AI. Source: EBay

The seeds of the cat's eye flower from China are advertised on the website, and photos of the plant show that when it blooms, it looks like a cute cat. The description states that the seeds are "rare", "organic" and "non-GMO". However, it turned out that such flowers do not actually exist, and the image was generated by artificial intelligence.

As images created by artificial intelligence become more and more realistic, it becomes harder to distinguish between fake and authentic. The fact-checking website Snopes has discovered false images being shared on all social media platforms, including Facebook, Reddit, and X, The Sun reports.

Unfortunately, it seems that many online buyers have fallen victim to these eBay ads. One of the users that bought the product contacted the site with a complaint about the "seeds" and was told that the flowers were indeed "fake."

The user scanned the images using artificial intelligence detection tools on aiornot.com and isitai.com to confirm that they were created by artificial intelligence. In addition, Google's data shows that until this year, there were no legal records of any flowers or plants named "cat's eye".

According to Snopes, the photos were posted by Facebook user StorieSpot in the National Geographic Wild Planet group. The post read, "Amazing plants! Cat's Eye".

This Facebook group has more than 1.4 million members, but despite its name, it is not affiliated with National Geographic, the American nature channel. StorieSpot's post received over 80,000 likes and tens of thousands shared it on Facebook, so there were many users who were interested in buying the flowers.

It is unclear how many users fell for the trick and bought seeds of the fake cat's eye flower. The figures for sold items displayed on Chinese websites may be unreliable. Snopes found hundreds of completed or sold "seed" listings on eBay with prices in excess of $45.

Tens of thousands of people in the world fell victim to this high-profile eBay scam: what does AI have to do with it

Most of those people who believed and made a purchase of the "seeds" were usually older people.

Fake information that the plant actually exists also circulated on Reddit, although some users were quick to call it nonsense. One of them commented, "This AI garbage is all over social media (especially Facebook) and thousands of people believe it, thinking it's real."

Another said, "There are a lot of dishonest people who sell generic fake plant seeds using AI-generated images and Photoshop."

"They are as real as blue strawberries or rainbow orange seeds," another Reddit user commented.

Only verified information is available on  OBOZ.UA Telegram channel and Viber. Do not fall for fakes!

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