Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product / ServiceCYBER SECURITY
CategoryA13. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government
Additional Company NETSAFE Auckland, NEW ZEALAND


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
Josep Jover DDB Group New Zealand Art Director
Jacob Newton DDB Group New Zealand Copywriter
Jenny Travers DDB Group New Zealand Senior Business Director
Michael Doolan 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
Jason Vertongen DDB Group New Zealand Head of Digital Design
Simon Betton DDB Group New Zealand Lead Developer
Paul Hutcheon DDB Group New Zealand Lead Front End Developer
Mike McMillan DDB Group New Zealand Front End Developer
Judy Thompson DDB Group New Zealand Agency Executive Producer
Alva Waldron DDB Group New Zealand Agency Producer
Mark Trethewey DDB Group New Zealand Editor

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 a 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 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 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 people can connect to Netsafe for advice and victim support. With the steady flow of incoming scammer data, it is shared with cybercrime fighting agencies like The Police, Interpol and The FBI.

Re:scam has earned more than 279 million potential impressions and started a global conversation about 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.

We knew that our best weapon to attack phishing scammers was to use the same thing they use to attack us: emails. Emails can transcend all national boundaries, in any quantity for very little cost. While engagement and educational elements of Re:scam exist in social media, the core of Re:scam uses the same media and techniques as the criminals it is fighting. But instead of requiring thousands of operators, it just uses one clever email bot and millions of fans. This problem-solution symmetry is what makes the Re:scam so effective, and easy to engage with.

Insights, Strategy and the Idea

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 access 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 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.

Supporting Webpage