I’m all about anything that makes online life a little bit harder for scumbags and a little bit safer for everyone else. And if everyone else can have a little bit of fun in the process, even better. So yes, I shall be doing my best to remember to forward my next email from the friendly Nigerian prince who administrates the lottery to Re:scam.
It’s a new bot created by the New Zealand-based nonprofit Netsafe that replies to all your spam emails for you, tricking scammers into thinking that they’re hooking a victim. Except Re:scam simply asks each scammer more and more questions, engaging them in a never-ending conversation until they give up. All you have to do is forward your scam email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let the bot do its work.
“Do you wish to be a member of the great illuminati family? Do you want to be [sic] payment $5,000,000 weekly? Let us now [sic] if you are interested in success,” says one scam email featured in a video about Re:scam’s skills. The bot’s response? “Dear Illuminati, what a wonderful surprise! I’d love to join your secret club. Do you do a bingo night?”
When the scammer responds that there isn’t a bingo night and prompts the respondent to send their bank details, the bot responds with glee, “Terrific! But to avoid detection I’m going to send my bank account details through one number at a time,” predictably driving the scammer crazy.
I have no idea how they’re training this thing, and wisely, they aren’t saying. But I think we can all agree that it’s nice that they are.