How to use Norton’s free AI-powered scam detector

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Norton Genie will analyze suspicious emails and other content and alert you if a scam is afoot. Here’s how to use it.

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You’ve received an email, text, or website notification that’s triggering your Spidey senses, so you’re not sure if it’s legitimate or malicious. One tool that can help is Norton’s Genie.

With this free AI-powered scam detector, you submit the text or image of a suspicious message, social media post, or website. In return, Genie will try to tell you whether the item is a possible scam and let you ask follow-up questions to decide what to do next.

Also: 6 simple cybersecurity rules to live by

Available as a website and an iPhone/iPad app, Norton Genie is currently in an early access phase, which means it’s not yet fully widespread or perfected. The app itself is accessible only in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

And like any new AI service, Genie is still in the process of learning. That means it’s not going to be accurate or correct all of the time. Instead, you’ll want to use this as just one method to identify a possible scam. And the more items the tool scans, the more it will learn how to do its job.

How to use Norton’s Genie scam detector

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

How did Genie fare?

I tried Genie with several different emails, some that were legitimate and some that were scams. The results were fairly good, though Genie did miss a few obvious ones based on specific details. For example, the full sextortion email that I submitted was not considered a scam because the Bitcoin URL included in the text was seen as legitimate. When I removed the Bitcoin link from the text, Genie correctly identified this message as a scam.

Also, the chatbot definitely needs improvement as it failed to understand or respond properly to some of my questions. As I said earlier, Genie is in an early access phase, so it certainly requires more time and training to be truly effective. For now, I would use the tool as one way to identify scams but would continue to rely on other methods as well.

To learn more about preventing and combatting scams, check out the following ZDNET articles:

 

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