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There's a Chatbot That Will Waste the Time of Email Scammers

By Tom Pritchard on at

I've never really used chatbots for anything serious, just to test them out when my job demands it. Unless a customer service AI can deal with my problems better than the humans they hire to half arse the job, I'm not interested in talking to one. But I'm all for using them to talk to other people and waste their time, especially when those people are trying to steal my money.

That's what Re:scame is for, using a chatbot to do everything it can to waste the time of some cyber criminal. Every second they waste conversing with a computer is a second they can't steal someone's life savings, so it's the kind of thing I can get behind.

It was developed by New Zealand cybersecurity company Netsafe, who use a proxy email address to converse with the scammer in question. All you have to do is forward the email to me@rescam.org, and the chatbot will take over to start wasting time. As you'll see in the video above, it's got multiple personalities to fall back on, and is constantly growing its vocabulary to ensure that the scammer is totally unaware that they're talking to a machine.

That's its whole purpose, and the only downside is that you won't be able to see all the results. Wasting a scammer by yourself is one thing, but watching them in a futile attempt to get a robot to hand over their personal information sounds like a hilarious way to spend a few minutes.

So next time you're going through your spam folder, or someone manages to sneak past your email provider's defences,you know exactly what to do. Pass on their email, and hope hilarity ensues.


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