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Successfully getting a mortgage involves 2 key components: Income and Deposit.  The desire to increase your deposit can be overwhelming and can lead to decisions we wouldn’t normally make.  Decisions like responding to those email scams promising untold riches from overseas.

This week we’re looking at an amazing new website rescam.org.  Started by NZ company – Netsafe – the website provides an email address to forward all those scam attempts to (me@rescam.org).  The chatbot on the website then proceeds to start a conversation with the scammers; keeping them as busy as possible with mundane questions.

The goal is simple: while scammers are trying to convince the chatbot to send money to them, they are not targeting real people who have accidentally fallen into their net.  I personally loved the idea so much, I have actually gone into my Spam folder and started to forward all the historical emails that are in there.

A lot of thought has gone into the style of discussion from the chatbot.  The bot makes spelling mistakes and shortens words.  It’s English isn’t perfect but it’s talent for producing inane, open-ended questions seems to be.

For a good laugh, read the “Can you show me?” link on the Rescam page.  It shows the typical responses that it will send to the scammers.  Imagine them banging their heads against their desks wondering why they can’t close the sale on this very responsive victim.

While this kind of tactic will work for a while, I suspect the scammers will move to chatbots too in the near future.  At that point, it is simply computers talking to computers.  But until then, it is immensely pleasing to know that the people who process these scams are being bombarded with emails (42,581 at the time of writing this article).

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