Scam e-mails are very common and they can easily trick you into doing something that you shouldn’t, for example, provide the scammer with personal details such as credit card credentials or the password and username foe one of your online accounts but what if we told you that you can rescam a scammer? It truly is why it is extremely important that users are careful with any suspicious-looking messages in their inbox, especially if they are coming from unknown people. That said, if you are able to determine that somebody is trying to scam you via an e-mail message and persuade you to provide personal data or transfer money for whatever made-up reason, you can actually have fun with such a situation and “rescam” that person.
What is the Rescam bot?
Netsafe, a New Zealand software company, has recently introduced an automated software chatbot for e-mails. The purpose of the Rescam bot to basically waste the scammer’s time. Here is how it works: if you suspect that someone is trying to scam you via emails, simply forward the scam message to email@example.com. Once you do that, Rescam will reply to the email instead of you beginning an endless conversation that would utterly simply waste the time of whoever is trying to scam you without giving them anything. By the time the web crook realizes that nothing would come out of the conversation, they would have hopefully wasted a significant amount of time pointlessly and unknowingly conversing with a chatbot. Here is the promotional video for Netsafe’s chatbot where you will be presented with a brief (and quite hilarious) introduction to their creation.
Chatbots used to rescam scammers aren’t something new or revolutionary but their effectiveness is entertainingly high. The technology used to create the chatbot isn’t anything overly advanced but it is more than enough to fool a internet crook who is eager to steal somebody’s money. There is also a psychological element to that – if you ignore a scammer, they will know that it is time to move on to their next target. However, if they receive a response, they would be encouraged to continue the conversation due to the prospect of an illegal profit. And Rescam does its job of engaging the online criminal very well. The end result is a frustrated crook that has just realized that they have wasted a good portion of their time having chit-chat with someone (in this case something) that wouldn’t profit them whatsoever.
Rescam by Netsafe is similar to another chatbot for telemarketing calls called Lenny, who worked using an ever simpler technology. The bot had 16 pre-recorded pieces of monologue that would get played in a random order each time the other person would stop talking. There was no AI involved but due to the extreme vagueness of the monologue pieces, Lenny seemed to be just as effective for wasting a real person’s time.