Everyone gets telemarketing and scam calls. The question is what to do about them. Ignoring them does nothing; neither does blocking their number. So maybe the best idea is to mess with them. Next time one calls me, I'll tell them I'm dead.
Niel15 asked Reddit: What's the best way to annoy a scammer by phone?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
IRS scams are fun. Tip: the IRS never, ever calls. Snail mail only.
Basically be a contrarian.
I got a call from the "IRS" one time saying I owed them tons of money or I would go to jail. I told them I had already been to jail and wasn't afraid of going back.
They said they would repo all my possessions and I told them I was basically homeless and didn't own anything.
They said they would contact my family and try to get the money from them. I told them I was adopted and didn't have a real family.
The last thing he told me was that he was in the process of contacting the police and I told him I was already at the police station.
He hung up pretty angrily.
Yes, when these guys call saying they have a warrant, I just ask them which police station they would like to meet at. They hang up immediately.
My IRS scammer was sooo mad at me. I began to hit on him, telling him how seductive he sounded and powerful and dominant and I'm sure he was just a rippling specimen of man flesh...he had the nerve to hang up.. I told him I thought we had a future... so sad
Powermove: Call them back and ask for him specifically. Especially if you "want to come back on the deal". Then start flirting even more.
The phone chain, nice.
At our shop one of us will answer and say, "oh you need to talk to Dave about that. Hold on." Then Dave will get on in a minute or so and say, "that's above my pay grade. Lemme transfer you to chuck," and so on and so forth, around and around. I think our record is ten transfers before they just hung up.
I've done this when a scammer called at my job. We transferred them eight times, and at one point they were on mute for fifteen minutes, and I was listening to the call. Dude literally says "I think these people are f*cking with us." Still takes three more transfers to hang up angrily. Loved wasting their time!
Hey man, every minute they spend being trolled by you is one less minute they spend scamming someone else so, thank you.
That's always my thought... if I'm holding them up, that means they aren't preying on someone that they might actually scam. I'd rather waste their time and frustrate them, which sticks with them way longer than just not answering or hanging up. The more of us that do this, the less profitable and lucrative this becomes. =)
Turn the sale around. Literally.
This question reminds me of my grandfather. He use to get calls from scammers and try to sell them stuff. A conversation would go something like:
Scammer: "Hello sir, we wanted to let you know that you are eligible for a discount on your life insurance policy. All you have to do is give us some information and we will apply the discount. "
My Pap: "Great! Just give me one minute..." (Holds for a minute). "So I have this 1997 Chevy Cavalier. She has high miles and a little rust on the door, but I can part with her for...a grand? You interested?"
Scammer: "No thank you sir. But back to where we were. I just need you name, address and social security number to veri-"
My pap: "Boy you drive a hard bargain. How about $750? That's more than fair."
Scammer: " Sorry sir, I'm not interested. Like I was saying..."
My pap: "$500!"
My pap: "$450. Hell at this point I'm practically giving it away!"
Scammer: "Sir I don't want-"
My pap: "Okay, $450 it is. Phew, you drive a hard bargain. Now all I need from you is your name, address, and social security number and we are set."
Scammer: "Have a nice day. (Click)".
I use to love staying at my grandparents house and hearing him do stuff like this. Thanks for reminding me of some great memories.
This reminds me of something my grandpa would do.
More then once I saw him look at his phone, curse under is breathe, answer it, then follow up "have you ever really pet a cat?" And go on a long spiel about how petting a cat is the greatest stress relief in the world along with where to pet them depending on the cats disposition.
The best was when he got the windows scam that went around years back. All of his answers were: pretend to do it; sorry you've interrupted my cats nightly petting he just keeps walking all over my keyboard.
They have to complete the script, no matter what.
I had a lady trying to get me to come look at some timeshare in Williamsburg, VA.
Telemarketer: So, do you have kids?
T: Great! You can bring them with you, and we'll put you all up in a hotel room!
M: Oh, that'd be awesome
T: So, how many kids do you have?
M: yeah, I'm the luckiest man in the world. I've got 7 daughters, and they all HOTTTTT.
T: Well, ummm. You'd have to have 2 hotel rooms, which we can do
M: Ohhhh no. They all sleep with me.
T: GoGoZRX, you can't have 7 people in the same hotel room.
M: wait, I can't? I told you they're all hot, right?
I was impressed.... she continued with the spiel.
"Hello caller, you're on the air!"
I personally like going with "Thanks for calling W94.5 FM MONDO MUNDO! You're on the air caller, now WHAT'S YOUR LUCHADOR NAME!".
Loved the Toyota Mustang.
This morning I got one of the car warranty ones. I told them I had a 1983 Toyota Mustang. They told me to have a nice day and hung up.
I think next time I'm going to try to get a warranty for my jaguar, and watch as they slowly realize that not only am I not talking about the car company, I have also mistaken my standard-sized domestic cat for a much larger cat.
I told the last car warranty telemarketer that it was great that they called because my car was acting up.
"How long has it had problems?" she said.
"Ever since I went to the gas station and filled my tank up with milk," I said, with a dumb, confused persona.
"Why would you fill your car up with milk?"
"Because my brain told me to."
I like to try to convince them I have a dwarf living in the trunk named Roger. Who whispers performance upgrades.
Paying for utilities in gift cards is not a thing.
I used to work in a restaurant and we would get scam calls saying we need to pay them now or they are going to cut off the business's power. They would claim they had their person outside right now but if you pay them in ~gift cards~ now they wouldn't cut it. The craziest thing is the caller ID would even show up as the power company's name.
So we always knew it was them calling and would take turns f*cking with them. We would always play along and say we were going to get them and so on, and then as soon as we claim to have the gift card and they are ready to take the numbers we'd go, "oh wait, I'll just pay this online"
They would instantly hang up.
Y'all need to start collecting used gift cards, like for Walmart or whatever. Start stacking them by the phone. Read off the numbers. After reading off a card, move it to the bottom of the stack. Are they really going to test the numbers before they sell them? Either way you waste their time.
If they don't test them before they sell them, then you are not wasting their time at all. They still make a profit.
This will definitely do it.
"Have you read YOUR bible today? God is coming and theres nothing you can do to stop him starts reading bible scriptures"
They usually hang up on you after the 'today' part.
God's snow will embrace you and you can NOT stop it!
Worth a shot.
I answer with "hi, I'd like a large half mushroom half pepperoni pizza for pickup". They either chuckle or get mad before hanging up. If it automated, I press 0 until I get someone or it hangs up.
Try pressing 2. A lot of places will use the same software and leave all the settings at default. Pressing 2 usually takes you off their calling list.
Until it re-adds you a day later.
I told one (in English) that I don't speak English. English is the only language in which I'm fluent. He was very confused and angry.
I have done this before as well. The guy kept insisting that I was speaking English to him. I just kept repeating "I'm sorry, I don't speak English" and other variations.
No no no, YOU don't understand. I don't speak English. Clearly you are not understanding me.
"Frankly, I'm getting quite exasperated now. The English language is one that I have no grasp of and furthermore, I take your accusations to the contrary as a personal slight of the highest magnitude. Unless you are willing to transfer me to a member of your staff who can speak my language, I simply must bid you a farewell."
Fight fire with fire.
Act like another scammer.
"Sir, we've called you because we detected issues with your comp-""
"Thank you for calling tech support, how may I help you?"
No...sir, we called you due to a flag that your computer has been infected with malicious software. We can restore you to a backup from yesterday that our system created. Please confirm if you would like to proceed with a resolution.
You have malicious software on your computer? Well I could restore a backup that our system created if you'd like to proceed.
Sir, we need to get your contact information.
Alright, I'm ready to take down your contact information. Please start with your telephone's area code.
I'm both triggered and in awe of this thread.
Keep them on the phone, no matter what.
If you have time. Go along with it but act really f*cking stupid.
Or just waste their time with silly questions. Put them on hold for ages. There's so much fun to be had.
I get the ones about being in a car accident and asking if I want to claim compensation a lot. I just play along then when they get to asking what injuries I sustained I tell them I died, or tell them my head came off and I can't get an erection any more.
I got one of those "free" vacation calls once and kept the guy on for awhile. He named some kind of resort with a long Latin-type name like "La Costa de Salamanca Verde" or something, so I asked him to spell it, but not before "getting a pen" of course. I stopped him multiple times to clarify letters.
"T as in Tom"
"A, as in apple"
"A as in what?"
And so on.
He asked me if I had kids.
"No... not anymore." (stole that from Aways Sunny)
And I would just be contradictive about everything.
"You can sit on the beach with a margarita..."
"Oh, I don't drink."
Stuff like that.
I think he started to catch on though. Eventually I said "you know, I don't really like the beach" and he hung up.
"Do you have kids?"
"Only when the medication wears off"
I like that this could be imaginary kids the medicine stops you from hallucinating, or real kids that the medicine helps you forget.
Welcome to Hell.
I recently discovered that rubbing your finger over the speaker on your phone generates the most terrifying and demonic sound that's ever come out of a phone. Pair that with some whispering and maybe a little Latin and you can really spook people.
I had a phase where I would just shriek as loud as possible into the phone, hopefully giving them a scare in their little headsets.
Start out by whispering your answers, so they turn their volume up. THEN yell/shriek at them.
This person knows how to do it.
I kept getting robo calls about car warranty stuff, so whenever they would come on the line I'd say I own a 2016 Chevy Ligma. Most of the time they would hang up. One time it happened that it was an older lady, so I hear her in the background asking coworkers about "What's a Chevy Ligma?" I hear someone tell her to hang up. About a week later I get a call from the same people. I tell the guy, it's a 2018 Chevy Ligma. He just sighs and says "Man they got in the system as a 2016 and I can't believe someone put that in there, you think that sh*t is funny? ligma balls, ligma nuts, you need to grow up." I was laughing too hard to say anything at that point. I haven't heard from them since.
Other great things to do, act really interested in whatever they are selling, but tell them your phone is about to die and request a number you can call them back at. If they give it to you, harass the sh*t out of em, then if they send you to voicemail leave messages like you're their party bro and you just scored a bag of coke. Most of that shit is monitored.
you think that sh*t is funny?
And finally, the Seinfeld way.
Seinfeld did it best.
"I'm really busy right now, if you could give me your home number I'll call you back tonight. No?"
Oh I guess you don't want people calling you at home.
Well now you know how I feel.
What's your defense when a telemarketer calls?