New Zealand chatbots designed to scam the scammers

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/10/new-zealand-chatbots-artificial-intelligence-scam-conversations

Internet watchdog uses artificial intelligence bot to engage foreign scammers in long-winded email conversations
Thousands of online scammers around the globe are being fooled by artificial intelligence bots posing as New Zealanders and created by the country’s internet watchdog to protect it from “phishing” scams.

Chatbots that use distinct New Zealand slang such as “aye” have been deployed by Netsafe in a bid to engage scammers in protracted email exchanges that waste their time, gather intelligence and lure them away from actual victims.

Cyber crime costs New Zealanders around NZ$250m annually. Computer programmers at Netsafe spent more than a year designing the bots as part of their Re:scam initiative, which went live on Wednesday.

Within 24 hours 6,000 scam emails had been sent to the Re:scam email address and there were 1000 active conversations taking place between scammers and chatbots.

So far, the longest exchange between a scammer and a chatbot pretending to be a New Zealander was 20 emails long.

The bots use humour, grammatical errors and local slang to make their “personas” believable, said Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker. As the programme engages in more fake conversations with scammers overseas, its vocabulary, intelligence and personality traits will grow.

https://www.netsafe.org.nz/
 
https://www.netsafe.org.nz/rescam/

Introducing Re:scam – an artificially intelligent email bot made to reply to scam emails. Re:scam wastes scammers time with a never-ending series of questions and anecdotes so that scammers have less time to pursue real people.

If you think you’ve received a scam email, forward it to me@rescam.org and we’ll take it from there. We’ll even send you a transcript of the conversations Re:scam has had with the scammer – sometimes they can be quite funny! Please note, this can take a while as the bot is designed to reply to the scammer at varying times to appear natural – it may take anywhere from a few seconds to a few days to reply to the scammer each time.
 
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