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New Technology – Chatbot Helps Fight Email Spam

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You can now fight email spam with an unlikely solution: a chatbot. New Zealand-based cyber safety organization Netsafe has introduced Re:scam, a chatbot that will reply to unsolicited email messages on your behalf.

For the uninitiated, a chatbot is a program that simulates conversations with human users online. Who knew it could be used to deal with spam?

Re:scam overview

It’s like fighting fire with fire – you combat automated spam messages with automated spam responses. Re:scam aims to take up so much of the spammer’s time that they’ll eventually stop bothering you.

Here’s a quick overview:

How Re:scam works

So how do you use Re:scam? Simply forward your spam to me@rescam.org and it’ll take over for you. Re:scam will reply to the spammer with an automated response from a proxy address, then keep replying to further emails. This continues until the spammer tires and stops altogether.

Re:scam will even send you a transcript of the conversation. Make sure you have popcorn on hand when you read through it.

Here’s the thing: if more and more people start using Re:scam, spammers will be too busy keeping up with the spam responses. Sure, they could use a chatbot to counter your chatbot, but by then, why should spammers bother when actual people aren’t replying to them anymore and it’s all done by proxy?

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I’m Boss Royal’s resident wordsmith and technophile.