Who has not received an email from an alleged Nigerian relative who urgently wants to deposit an obscene amount of money into our bank account? And who has not been shocked when receiving a warning from Dropbox or Netflix, Apple iTunes in which they urge us to change our password urgently? These scams and fraud seem to be a growth industry. Fortunately, my mail account manages to keep the bulk of the attacks in the spam folder. However, some of these malicious emails sneak into our inbox waiting for us to display a moment of complacency.
Sometimes we take the bait, no matter how vigilant we think we are as these scammers are increasingly sophisticated. These fake emails are difficult to distinguish them from the originals. A New Zealand company has developed a system to fight back based on artificial intelligence that uses the same techniques scammers use on us.
Rescam.org – which watches over network security – has created Re: Scam, a free system through which any user can strike back at scammers and contribute to eliminating this scourge.
The system works in the following way: if you receive an email that you suspect can be a scam (a fraudulent mail), you send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and you forget about it. What happens after that point? Re: Scam analyses the origin of the same and if it considers that it is a scammer, the counterattack begins.
The website uses artificial intelligence and responds to the mail by pretending to be us. The scammer becomes convinced that we are interested: touches of humour, deliberate misspellings the strategy of the ‘bot’ is to keep the attacker engaged as long as possible wasting their time and money.
Simon is a Sydney based digital designer. He is the Director of a boutique digital design studio, Bailey Street Design located in the vibrant inner west suburb of Newtown. Simon studied graphic design at Shillington College and specialises in web design for small and medium size businesses. Simon and his team (Toby the studio dog) are passionate about visual communication in the digital environment
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