$12 billion is lost globally to phishing scams. While you may believe you could easily figure out that the email from your grandma who is desperately asking you for money is not really an email from your grandma, not all phishing scams are that obvious and many people fall for them. In fact, a 2015 survey done by Intel Security covering 19,000 respondents from 144 countries, revealed that a staggering 80% misidentified at least one phishing email.
Now, Netsafe, a non-profit organization in New Zealand with a focus on online safety, is fighting back. With their new initiative called Re:scam, Netsafe has deployed a well-educated, artificially intelligent chat-bot that can take on multiple personalities and engage in correspondence with scammers, wasting their time indefinitely or until the scammers themselves realize they are being scammed.
The exchanges can be hilarious. Here is a sample of the bot’s replies from a rather long email thread between the bot and a scammer posing as The Bureau of African Affairs and looking to extract personal and bank details.
“Hi, was this letter supposed to go to me? It all seems quite a wee bit official like. I’ve never been beneficiaried before. Just want to make sure I’m who I am before I get too excited.”
“How soon can I expect to receive these funds? I owe a pretty significant amount to Readers Digest and need to pay them back…
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