The next time you see a scam email, you have an easy option to annoy and distract the scammer, thanks to Netsafe. Netsafe is an online safety nonprofit in New Zealand that deals with issues such as cyber security and online bullying. It has created a chatbot (a computer program designed to have conversations) called Re:scam specifically to waste email scammers’ time. If you receive a spam email, you can forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and the AI bot will adopt an identity from its wide range of programmed interactive personas and begin to have an annoying, drawn-out conversation, leading on the scammer.
“Re:scam is an initiative aimed at helping people from becoming fraud victims by occupying the time and resources of scammers through deploying a well-educated artificially intelligent chat bot,” the NetSafe site explains. The AI system will continue to email the spammer indefinitely or until the spammer stops replying. Netsafe released this distracting bot in Nov. 2017 in an effort to undermine email scamming, which targets millions annually and is a billion-dollar industry.