A new chatbot will help you take the fight to scammers. A New Zealand-based cybersecurity firm named Netsafe has created a chatbot that's aimed at chewing up their resources.
When you receive a spam email, simply forward it to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, a proxy email address operated by Netsafe will reply to the spammer and ignite a chain of emails that will ultimately leak nowhere and cause the spammer to become annoyed and walk away.
Spam, of course, is one of the scourges of email. And trying to keep up with it can be difficult, to say the least. In most cases, you're simply told to ignore it, delete it and report it to your email provider. But like clockwork, it comes back.
The idea behind Netsafe's technology, which was earlier reported on by The Verge, is to give some of the spammers a taste of their own medicine. And it does so by automatically delivering some canned responses that will string along the spammers and make them think that they have a sucker on the line. In reality, the chatbot is leading them on to ultimately discourage future outreach.
But while the chatbot might annoy spammers, it's unlikely that it will do much to actually stop spam. All you're really doing in this scenario is handing over a scammer's email address to Netsafe so it can have some fun.
But Netsafe argues its service goes beyond that. The company says that by getting scammers into a "never-ending conversation" with its chatbot, it's taking up valuable time that scammers could be talking to unsuspecting victims. Rather than reply to someone who might have actually fallen for a scam aimed at stealing a person's identity or cash, the scammers are dealing with a chatbot that will never get them what they want.
If you're interested in trying out Netsafe's chatbot, here's a fancy video it's put together to examine what goes into fooling scammers.
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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.