RE:SCAM

Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

TitleRE:SCAM
ClientNETSAFE
Product / ServiceCYBER SECURITY
CategoryB06. Use of Technology
EntrantDDB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Idea Creation DDB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
PR DDB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
PR 2 MANGO Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Production DDB NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Additional Company NETSAFE Auckland, NEW ZEALAND

The Campaign

Re:scam is an AI chatbot designed to do the one thing you shouldn’t: reply to scams. When you forward any suspicious emails to Re:scam, it identifies scam emails and then begins a never-ending conversation with the scammer so they waste their time talking to a chatbot instead of real targets. Re:scam uses IBM Watson to analyse emails and add to its ever growing vocabulary. With multiple personalities and the ability to generate false account information (including credit card numbers, bank account information and postal addresses) there's no way for scammers to know they're talking to computer. Users can check up on and share the conversations they initiate, fuelling an important global conversation. This constant flow of emails from scammers provides entertaining content but also up to the minute data on trending scams. Re:scam is using this to educate people through social media, and shares all scammer information with cybercrime agencies.

Creative Execution

After a year of development and testing Re:scam was unleashed on the world’s scammers. We first shared Re:scam with local television news and then released a video online in which Re:scam introduced itself to the world, with one simple instruction: forward scams to me@rescam.org. Within 24 hours of going live Re:scam had gone global. As hoped, Re:scam had people talking about scamming everywhere. Re:scam joined the conversation through various social media accounts which it uses to educate and update followers and influencers on scams and how to avoid them. At rescam.org people can meet the chatbot ‘faces to face'. It features our favourite conversations and updates on the amount of time the project has wasted. Through rescam.org people can connect to Netsafe for advice and victim support. With the steady flow of incoming scammer data is shared with cybercrime fighting agencies like The Police, Interpol and The FBI.

Results

At last check, Re:scam has earned over 279 million impressions and started an ongoing global conversation around email scams. Through email correspondence and social media it continues to educate millions on the changing face of online scams. To date Re:scam has sent more than a million emails to scammers, wasting a total of more than 5 years of their time. The constant flow of data being collected on trending scams, scammer’s techniques and IP addresses is provided to national and global cybercrime agencies. As well as this, Re:scam has become a point of contact for people who are being scammed and haven't talked to authorities. These victims are all referred straight to Netsafe where they get the right advice and support.

Re:scam centres entirely around phishing scams. Because the problem spreads via email, we knew the weapon against it could too. After being directed to forward their suspected scam emails to Re:scam, users have the option of receiving update emails to let them know what is happening in the conversation(s) they have started. Law enforcement has boundaries but emails don’t, so our best weapon was to fight fire with fire. By increasing the response rate to scam emails with this undetectable false target, we have directly sent all phishing scammers a huge business problem.

We’ve worked closely alongside Netsafe from the beginning of the project to make use of their wealth of knowledge and data insights. We knew we needed a multifaceted weapon against scammers that disrupted their industry, engaged users, and was also educational. Anyone with internet is our target audience. From the outset we were careful not to portray any demographic as ‘typical victims’ as contrary to popular belief everyone is at risk from scammers. This is reflected in the range of personalities built into the Re:scam, and its many faces. Our call to action remains simple and consistent. Forward all scams to me@rescam.org. All other points of contact have flowed from that first action. As a false target Re:scam has increased response rates to scam emails. This turns the numbers game against scammers and damages their profits.

Credits

Name Company Position
Damon Stapleton DDB Group New Zealand Chief Creative Officer
Shane Bradnick DDB Group New Zealand Executive Creative Director
Brett Colliver DDB Group New Zealand Creative Director
Mike Felix DDB Group New Zealand Creative Director
Sarsha Drakeforde DDB Group New Zealand Art Director
Geordie Wilson DDB Group New Zealand Copywriter
Judy Thompson DDB Group New Zealand Executive Agency Producer
Alva Waldron DDB Group New Zealand Agency Producer
Mark Trethewey DDB Group New Zealand Editor
Dan Partington DDB Group New Zealand Sound Engineer
Justin Mowday DDB Group New Zealand CEO
James Blair DDB Group New Zealand Lead Business Partner
Katya Urlwin DDB Group New Zealand Business Director
Jaheb Barnett DDB Group New Zealand Business Director
David Owen DDB Group New Zealand Business Manager
Jarrod Stevenson DDB Group New Zealand Business Manager
Liz Knox DDB Group New Zealand Digital Director
Haydn Kerr DDB Group New Zealand Digital Creative Director
Johannes Gertz DDB Group New Zealand Executive Digital Director
Simon Betton DDB Group New Zealand Lead Developer
Paul Hutcheon DDB Group New Zealand Lead Front End Developer
Liam Norris DDB Group New Zealand Social Planner
Marcel de Ruiter DDB Group New Zealand Studio Director
Nick White DDB Group New Zealand Videographer/Illustrator
Claudia McDonald DDB Group New Zealand/Mango PR Managing Director
Max Burt DDB Group New Zealand/Mango PR Senior Account Manager
Chloe Tonkin DDB Group New Zealand/Mango PR Account Manager
Links
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