This A.I. Chatbot Will Get Revenge on Email Scammers For You

Bothered by spam and phishing emails? This bot can waste months of a spammer's time, and produces some hilarious results... and you can use it for free right now. 

This A.I. Chatbot Will Get Revenge on Email Scammers For You
Mr Robot (USA Network)


$12 billion is lost globally to phishing scams. While you may believe you could easily figure out that the email from your grandma who is desperately asking you for money is not really an email from your grandma, not all phishing scams are that obvious and many people fall for them. In fact, a 2015 survey done by Intel Security covering 19,000 respondents from 144 countries, revealed that a staggering 80% misidentified at least one phishing email.

Now, Netsafe, a non-profit organization in New Zealand with a focus on online safety, is fighting back. With their new initiative called Re:scam, Netsafe has deployed a well-educated, artificially intelligent chat-bot that can take on multiple personalities and engage in correspondence with scammers, wasting their time indefinitely or until the scammers themselves realize they are being scammed.

The exchanges can be hilarious. Here is a sample of the bot's replies from a rather long email thread between the bot and a scammer posing as The Bureau of African Affairs and looking to extract personal and bank details. 

“Hi, was this letter supposed to go to me? It all seems quite a wee bit official like. I’ve never been beneficiaried before. Just want to make sure I’m who I am before I get too excited.”

“How soon can I expect to receive these funds? I owe a pretty significant amount to Readers Digest and need to pay them back before they take legal action.”

“Do you mean your business days or our business days? What time zone are you in?”

“I understand the urgency. Time is money as they say. Does that make ATM’s time machines? Just a thought I had. Anyway. Keen to move this along.”

Engaging with the bot leaves less time for scammers to engage with real people. In addition, the emails that the chat bot receives help to develop its vocabulary and knowledge of scams. These emails also help with the collection of data about scammers’ locations and activities.

Netsafe’s CEO Martin Cocker says:

“Everyone is susceptible to online phishing schemes and no matter how tech savvy you are, scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Re:scam will adapt as the scammers adapt their techniques, collecting data that will help us to keep up and protect more people across New Zealand.”

In just a few days Re:scam has already sent 26,609 emails and wasted more than 3 months worth of scammers’ time. So far, the longest exchange between a scammer and a chatbot was 20 emails long.

To help the fight against scammers, instead of deleting your scam emails, you can forward them (old or new) to me@rescam.org and Netsafe will engage in a conversation on your behalf from a proxy email account.

They will even send you a summary of the conversation the bot has had with the scammer and, as Netsafe writes on their website, “sometimes they can be quite funny!”

Here's a great example of one below: 

What does kindness look like? It wears a mask.

Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling has an important favor to ask of the American people.

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Michael Dowling is president and CEO of Northwell Health, the largest health care system in New York state. In this PSA, speaking as someone whose company has seen more COVID-19 patients than any other in the country, Dowling implores Americans to wear masks—not only for their own health, but for the health of those around them.
  • The CDC reports that there have been close to 7.9 million cases of coronavirus reported in the United States since January. Around 216,000 people have died from the virus so far with hundreds more added to the tally every day. Several labs around the world are working on solutions, but there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19.
  • The most basic thing that everyone can do to help slow the spread is to practice social distancing, wash your hands, and to wear a mask. The CDC recommends that everyone ages two and up wear a mask that is two or more layers of material and that covers the nose, mouth, and chin. Gaiters and face shields have been shown to be less effective at blocking droplets. Homemade face coverings are acceptable, but wearers should make sure they are constructed out of the proper materials and that they are washed between uses. Wearing a mask is the most important thing you can do to save lives in your community.
Keep reading Show less

Science confirms: Earth has more than one 'moon'

Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.

J. Sliz-Balogh, A. Barta and G. Horvath
Surprising Science
  • Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
  • These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
  • The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Keep reading Show less

6 easy ways to transition to a plant-based diet

Your health and the health of the planet are not indistinguishable.

Credit: sonyakamoz / Adobe Stock
Personal Growth
  • Transitioning to a plant-based diet could help reduce obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Humans are destroying entire ecosystems to perpetuate destructive food habits.
  • Understanding how to properly transition to a plant-based diet is important for success.
Keep reading Show less

Karma doesn't work how most people think it does

Eastern traditions have complex views on how karma affects your life.

Culture & Religion
  • Karma is not simple retribution for bad deeds.
  • Eastern traditions view karma as part of a cycle of birth and rebirth.
  • Actions and intentions can influence karma, which can be both positive and negative.
Keep reading Show less
Videos

What stops people from changing their minds?

A persistent barrage of information is not the best method for getting through to someone with a different point of view.

Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast