Netsafe uses artificial intelligence to fight phishers

Netsafe says it is now using an artificial intelligent (AI) email assistant to fight scammers, particularly phishers.

Re:scam works by occupying the time and resources of scammers through deploying a well-educated AI email assistant.

Instead of junking or deleting a scam email, organisations can now forward it to Re:scam who will continue the conversation until the scammer stops replying.

Re:scam’s AI can assume multiple personas, engaging scammers in an ongoing exchange that wastes the time they otherwise could have spent targeting potential victims.

It can imitate real human tendencies by using humour and making grammatical errors, all while collecting data that will help to bring down criminals by exposing their vulnerabilities.

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Netsafe says given that 70 per cent of the New Zealand businesses that have experienced a cyberattack have fallen victim to an email scam, Re:scam has been designed specifically with phishing in mind.

Re:scam will adapt as the scammers adapt their techniques, collecting data that will help us to protect more people.Martin Cocker, Netsafe

“We are really concerned about the growth of predatory email phishing, while victims remain essentially powerless,” says Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker, in a statement.

“We feel the scale of the problem far outweighs the attention it receives, and we want to empower people to take action. Re:scam provides them with the opportunity to do so.”

“Everyone is susceptible to online phishing schemes and no matter how tech savvy you are, scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated,” says Cocker. “Re:scam will adapt as the scammers adapt their techniques, collecting data that will help us to protect more people across New Zealand.”

Netsafe says Re:scam was developed over the past year, and is designed to be quick and easy to use.

Users who receive a phishing email can share the problem with Re:scam by forwarding the spam email to, who can review the exchange between the bot and scammer.

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