Security

Get your own back on email scammers with annoying auto-replies

By Kitty Knowles 10 November 2017
Summary

This smart AI bot sends endless replies. Take that scammers!

‘We’ve heard you’ve been in a car crash’ – the opening line of so many a scam telephone call.

Some aggrieved victims choose to play along, asking ambling questions to deliberately waste the caller’s time. But inherently, this wastes their time too.

Now, as scammers adopt email, there’s a smart way to ‘get your own back’ from your inbox.

You can use a savvy AI to send annoying auto replies on your behalf.

Re:scam

Re:scam has been launched this week by Netsafe, a New Zealand-based online safety organisation who claims $12 billion is lost globally every year to phishing.

The bot replies to phishers “with a never-ending series of questions and anecdotes so that scammers have less time to pursue real people,” Netsafe explains on its website.

The aim of the system is to delay scammers, and ultimately damage profits, undercutting the whole ‘phishing’ industry.

“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,” the Netsafe team explains.

Can you Re:scam?

All you have to do to give a scammer a taste of their own medicine is forward the suspect email to me@rescam.org. Then, Re:scam AI does all the hard work, initiating conversation, and leading them on with endless replies.

Once a scammer admits defeat and stops emailing, Netsafe can send you a summary of the conversation. And if you’d like a taste of what lies in wait for cyber criminals, you can check out test scams and replies at rescam.org.

Time for payback?