Netsafe, a New Zealand-based non-profit online safety group, introduced an AI email bot this week that will fight back against phishing scams by wasting their time. As Netsafe explained in a on Tuesday, the bot replies to scams “with a never-ending series of questions and anecdotes so that scammers have less time to pursue real people.”
All you have to do to retaliate against a scammer is forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, the Re:scam AI will take over and start a dialogue with the scammer, leading them on and wasting their time. When the scammer stops responding, Netsafe will even send you a summary of the conversation.
“Re:scam can take on multiple personas, imitating real human tendencies with humour and grammatical errors, and can engage with infinite scammers at once, meaning it can continue an email conversation for as long as possible,” Netsafe explains on its website. “Re:scam will turn the table on scammers by wasting their time, and ultimately damage the profits [which Netsafe says number in the billions] for scammers.”
If you want to learn more about the project, head over to rescam.org to “interact” with the bot. On the site, you can look through a series of sample scams to see how Re:scam responded, giving potential participants an idea of what a typical conversation with a scam-fighting AI looks like. There’s also an FAQ that can help educate you on phishing in general, and Netsafe and the Re:scam AI program specifically. It’s worth checking out.