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Old 04-17-2014, 04:57 PM
raspberry hunter is offline
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Ways you've messed with a telephone scam artist


Last weekend we got a call from the IRS telephone scam warned against here. Ours wasn't nearly as sophisticated as the one warned against in the link. The woman on the other end of the phone told me that I owed money to the IRS and that I needed to call a number to speak to her superior (we later realized it was the one she was calling from, in fact, which was weird).

I asked why they hadn't sent a letter and she said they had sent a letter by certified mail a week ago (which IMO was the best touch of the whole thing). Anyway, I hung up, we found that it was a scam on the internet, and that was that.

I always wish I'm a little quicker on the uptake and could play with their minds a little, though. Like say enthusiastically, "Oh, my lawyer would love to talk to you about this! He has lots of experience with this kind of thing!" or something like that. But I never think about it in the moment.

Surely there are Dopers out there who are better at this kind of thing than I am, and I can live vicariously through you. Tell me about a time you played a scammer!
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:02 PM
R. P. McMurphy is offline
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I've gotten the calls from the people with a heavy Indian accent that tell me that there is a problem with the computer.

I tell them that they are right, I'm sick and tired of the damn thing and would they please come and get it, the sooner the better. The try to continue with the shtick and I tell them I want to give them the POS and would they please come and get it. Line goes dead.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:17 PM
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I just pretend to be so happy to hear their voices after so long. Proceed to enthusiastically ask the scammer about his/her children, significant other, parents, that car they bought, their new house, their job, all in a very excited tone of voice. Whenever they try to fall back on their script, I ask them more questions as if we were long-time friends. They always hang up after a while
  #4  
Old 04-17-2014, 05:18 PM
Joey P is offline
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Originally Posted by raspberry hunter View Post

I always wish I'm a little quicker on the uptake and could play with their minds a little, though. Like say enthusiastically, "Oh, my lawyer would love to talk to you about this! He has lots of experience with this kind of thing!" or something like that. But I never think about it in the moment.
You can't really do that to them. It's not like they're going to say "Sure Mr Hunter, have him call me and I'll be happy to talk to him". Either they get your banking information/credit card and start making regular withdrawals that you won't question because you think you're paying off your IRS debt or they just hang up and they're on the phone with the next person while you're still thinking about how clever you were.

They're not out to play the long game, they're there to rake in as much money as they possibly can and get it into off shore accounts before they get shut down.

Last edited by Joey P; 04-17-2014 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:42 PM
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I can't be bothered to mess with them; I simply say in a bleak neutral tone:


"This is a security number. You should not have called this number. Please hang up now."


Then hang up the phone.
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2014, 05:45 PM
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I only have a cell phone now so don't tend to get crap like this but back when I didn't, I started doing this:

Person with skeevy company: Hi, I wonder if you have a few minutes to talk with me about your life insurance needs. We have some great deals for you!
Me: Oh, yes, absolutely! Can you hold for a moment?












Then wait until they hung up...eventually.
Then I figured that wasn't really fair to the poor shmoe trying to make a buck, so I started saying "put me on your no-call list and fuck off." Because why waste the shmoe's time. And it seemed to work.
  #7  
Old 04-17-2014, 07:27 PM
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I saw an advert for an apartment being rented cheap..
had a look at the details .. "no inspections, just pay a bond and we send the key".
Fee upfront scam, right..

And it was an apartment at some suburb ..well it was near Canterbury.

So I searched for the email address they provided, and that was also associated with an advert for a cheap Mitsubishi Canter. And I realized the Canter, Canterbury connection.


So I emailed them and asked about the apartment.
Is the apartment near Canterbury ? yes it is .
Can I park a truck there ? yes you can...
etc
One email at a time.
Then
"So I could buy the Canter from you, that you are also advertising, and drive it around Canterbury ? "
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:54 PM
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There is a scam very common around here (Jakarta) where they call you and tell you that your spouse or child was in an auto accident/accident at school, and you need to pay for the hospital so they can receive the necessary emergency treatment. You get a bank transfer # or a place to go meet someone to hand over cash. (This probably sounds like an odd set-up, but it is consistent with life here).

I always think that one of these days I'll pretend to believe them, get all the info needed to hand over the money, and simply not do it. But usually I just jerk them around for a minute or two before shrieking "penipu!!" at them (it means cheater/scammer) and slamming down the phone.

I had someone on the phone a few months ago who claimed to be calling from the police about my husband. I feigned puzzlement - "really? Are you sure? Because I didn't think my husband could possibly be in the car right now, he's at an all day meeting. What did you say his name was again? Wait, you are calling from the police, you know I'm his wife, and you don't know his name? That doesn't make sense!" Blah blah blah.

Last edited by CairoCarol; 04-17-2014 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:02 PM
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If money is involved, I always say, "You need to talk to the Foundation. Only they can authorize disbursements." My best (I think I posted this years ago) was back when you got telemarketers calling trying to sell you long-distance service. "No, sorry, I don't have a phone..."
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:53 PM
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This goes way back, to the mid-90's when I worked in the IT department of a regional bank. The main receptionist/operator had been instructed to forward all calls that asked for something like "the person in charge of computers" to me, a senior secretary. I got frequent calls from people trying to sell us their special keyboard cleaner. They finally stopped calling after I began replying brightly, "Oh that's OK, we like our keyboards dirty!" If they questioned me further, I would just keep saying, cheerfully, that we preferred our keyboards to be dirty, thanks anyway. I only got to pull that a few times before they stopped calling altogether.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:56 PM
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I don't get many scam phone calls, but I did get a Facebook message from a friend whose account had been compromised lamenting the fact that she'd been stranded at the airport in London after her wallet and passport had been stolen. My brother was, at the time, living in London so I had them on the hook for 20-30 minutes trying to convince them to let me get in touch with him so he could drive out to Heathrow to help "her" out.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:28 PM
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I usually just ask them if they want to speak to Mr. Click, and when they excitedly say yes, *click*. It just makes me giggle.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:48 PM
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There's always the Tom Mabe approach.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
I only have a cell phone now so don't tend to get crap like this but back when I didn't, I started doing this:

Person with skeevy company: Hi, I wonder if you have a few minutes to talk with me about your life insurance needs. We have some great deals for you!
Me: Oh, yes, absolutely! Can you hold for a moment?

Then wait until they hung up...eventually.
Then I figured that wasn't really fair to the poor shmoe trying to make a buck, so I started saying "put me on your no-call list and fuck off." Because why waste the shmoe's time. And it seemed to work.
Doesn't do any good when they're calling from offshore, like Jamaica.
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:55 AM
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Usually I just ask them to hold and put the phone down until they hang up. But if I have been imbibing... If it is a male, I sometimes say something like "Think about this - your mother's [private parts]". Occasionally I get them pissed off enough to threaten me. If female, I may ask them to describe theirs, always results in a hangup. Do not call when I have been drinking.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:17 AM
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When I worked in the office we got a lot of obnoxious calls asking to speak to a former employee. I never figured out if they were collections or scams, but I started saying, "Oh, and what was your name? Daveed? Okay, and what is the phone number of your business? Because I will want to pass that on to her, after we google it, of course, company policy to google all calls of this nature..." I never had to ask for the number more than once before they hung up.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:36 AM
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Wow, that is funny.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:50 AM
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Let me tell you the story of Ms. Releasha Jones.

When I worked for a medical office in Houston (2007-2010), one of my responsibilities was managing the call center. And during times of heavy call traffic, I would take overflow calls myself. For whatever reason, this office got a ton of scam and solicitor calls. The whole gamut: pest control, medical supplies, insurance, business loans, the infamous "toner scam," legitimate (but still annoying) toner salespeople, everything. It was profoundly irritating, during a rush of legitimate patient phone calls, to pick up the phone and have a barely-verbal cold caller mumble something about, "May I speak to the person in your office who is in charge of ordering the sterile supplies?" or "Hey, this is Jerome over at 'the office supply company' and I'm just 'updating our records.' Could you remind me what model copiers y'all have over there?"

Usual practice, approved by me, was simply to hang up on these people. Because the hang-up button on our phones said RELEASE, one of my employees, an African-American girl, started referring to hanging up on someone as "transferring to Releasha." (In Houston, that would have been a not at all implausible name for an African-American woman, so it really was pretty damned funny.)

A few months after the coining of "transfer to Releasha," I was taking calls on a busy Monday and got a call from a toner salesman. "May I speak to the office manager, or whoever orders the supplies for your printers and copiers?" In a fit of pissed-off inspiration, I cheerfully said, "Sure, that'll be Releasha. Hold for a moment while I transfer you!" And then hung up. The call center employees who weren't on calls themselves busted out laughing.

And then it happened: the phone rang again, and it was the same guy. "Yeah, I was just speaking to someone at your office, and he was going to transfer me to Releasha. I must've got disconnected."

Cue lightbulb going off over head.

Instantly, Releasha was a thing. A person. A force of nature. There was an ongoing contest (on slow days only, of course) to see who could get a salesperson to call back the most times in a row after being hung up on. (Record: 8.) These people were so used to getting yelled at and hung up on, so desperate at any chance of a sale, that you could string them on for a surprisingly long time with a simple, "I am SO SORRY! Our phone system is being weird today. Let me transfer you to Releasha again." *click*

Because these companies latch onto any piece of information they can to get their foot in the door, and because they sell and buy lists of leads, we started getting cold calls specifically for Releasha. Some of these people claimed to be good friends of my fictitious office manager. Examples:

"Hi, I've been working with...Releasha?...on some quotes for janitorial services. She told me to call this morning around ten. Could you put me through?

"Hey, I just missed Releasha's call. Could you let her know Dan from Shitheel Toner Company is on the line?"

"What was...Releasha's...last name again?"
(This one took me by surprise.)
"Um...Jones."

Within six months, Releasha Jones was getting 15-20 calls a week. Within nine months, she was getting mail addressed to her. Catalogs. Flyers. Calendars. Mouse pads. Free samples of OTC pharmaceuticals. I left that company in June of 2010, and over a year later, she was still getting mail.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:53 AM
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If I've got the time, I like to string them along - figuring the more time they spend with me the fewer other people they can bother.

I listen to their schpiel, with just enuff 'ya', 'ok's to keep em going. Then say I gotta switch ears and have them say it again.
Then have em hang on so I can get a pen and paper. This always takes a bit.
Then I have em repeat it again. Slowly. And I mean s l o w l y... because I'm writing it ALL down (ya, rite).

When I'm done, I say my medicine is kicking in, I'll have to call them back....

If I don't have time, I just yell (I live alone, so I can actually yell): {name}, you lazy, gox daxx, son of a xxxx, you got a (&#(#_#__@# phone call!!!! and put the phone down, usually next to my keyboard so they can hear me typing.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by raspberry hunter View Post
Last weekend we got a call from the IRS telephone scam warned against here. Ours wasn't nearly as sophisticated as the one warned against in the link. The woman on the other end of the phone told me that I owed money to the IRS and that I needed to call a number to speak to her superior (we later realized it was the one she was calling from, in fact, which was weird).
I've never gotten an IRS-scam call. That disappoints me; I'm all ready to go with a nice monologue about how Ohio was never properly admitted to the Union and that allegedly official acts under color of a gold-fringed flag with an illegal extra star are therefore null and void.

The best I've managed to do is repeatedly belch at Heather From Card Services when she called at lunchtime.
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Old 04-18-2014, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
I only have a cell phone now so don't tend to get crap like this but back when I didn't, I started doing this:

Person with skeevy company: Hi, I wonder if you have a few minutes to talk with me about your life insurance needs. We have some great deals for you!
Me: Oh, yes, absolutely! Can you hold for a moment?

Then wait until they hung up...eventually.
Then I figured that wasn't really fair to the poor shmoe trying to make a buck, so I started saying "put me on your no-call list and fuck off." Because why waste the shmoe's time. And it seemed to work.
Wasting the shmoe's time is fairer to the other poor schmoes who make legitimately earned bucks who would (at best) have their time wasted by the scammer or (at worst) be fleeced by the scammer.

I'm not suggesting that you have some sort of civic obligation to mess with the scammers, but if you choose to do so it is, on balance, a good deed for the day and certainly nothing to feel guilty about.
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Last edited by Steve MB; 04-18-2014 at 09:58 AM.
  #22  
Old 04-18-2014, 09:59 AM
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IMO the best thing you can do to them is waste their time, that keeps them from scamming others while they wait on you. I tell them that I need to go get some paperwork/turn on the computer/whatever and then put the phone down and go back to whatever I was doing. They have waited up to 10 minutes for me. One or two actually called back.
  #23  
Old 04-18-2014, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by seal_cleaner View Post
If money is involved, I always say, "You need to talk to the Foundation. Only they can authorize disbursements." My best (I think I posted this years ago) was back when you got telemarketers calling trying to sell you long-distance service. "No, sorry, I don't have a phone..."
That reminded me of another call I got, from one of the "car warranty" scammers. I jacked him around for a few minutes saying I had to take a pot off the stove, feed the cat, etc. Finally, when he asked for the model of car to be warrantied, I told him "1989 Trabant". Would you believe the jerk hung up on me?
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:49 AM
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I always seem to get those "We've noticed your computer has been infected, please log in now and follow our directions" calls on my cell phone when I'm no where near my computer.
I usually play along saying "yep, okay, did that, now what" while I'm driving or standing out in the street watching the kids ride their bikes with their friends.
After a while I'll start talking jibberish "Did you say click it or cluck it? I think I clucked it. I'm sorry, hold on, the mouse ran off again. I did hit the start button but nothing happened, do you think I have a bad starter? Hod on a sec, I've gotta put more paper in my keyboard."
I even put them on speaker phone once and had all the neighbor kids come over and talk to my new friend.
I'm always amazed how long they stay on the line, try to stay on task, and are oblivious to the distractions.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:59 AM
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"Hello, this is XYZ calling for Ulf."

"This is Ulf. Did I request this call?"

"Sir, I'm calling to inform you of our great new offer--"

"I must inform you that I charge $75 per hour or fraction thereof to listen to unsolicited calls. Before you get started with your spiel, please give me the name and address of the person to whom I should send the bill, also any code I need to list on the invoice to ensure I get paid promptly--"

That usually does the trick. I did once have a guy who tried his best to remain on the line. Under intense questioning from me he let me know that his company was based in Canada, then Toronto, then downtown Toronto. When I said "Yonge Street? Bloor Street?" he finally decided he'd better hang up. Never did get my $$.
  #26  
Old 04-18-2014, 12:52 PM
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Disclaimer: I didn't read the whole thread.

Usually with any telephone solicitor, I just interrupt as soon as possible and say, "Thank you so much for the offer, but I'm not interested," and immediately hang up. I'm never rude, because back in college when I was really broke, I did some phone calling for a while, and anyone who is doing that job is probably at the end of their rope emotionally and financially and I'm not going to be the one to push them over the edge.

But back when you got lots of calls wanting you to switch your phone carrier or your ISP, I had some classics..

One was that I couldn't switch my ISP because I have this new boyfriend and he works for AOL <or whatever> and he'd never forgive me. They got that right away.

Sometimes I'd say that I couldn't switch my carrier because I've taken a religious vow and it would make God mad. That usually shut them up, because it wasn't in their script.

The best one was when I'd say I'm entering a cloistered convent tomorrow where I'll be completely shut off from the world, and won't be needing a phone or a computer any more. I'd say this with great excitement and joy in my voice. No one ever knew how to reply to that one.
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:02 AM
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That Relesha shtick is priceless!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCentStamp View Post
[...]n some quotes for janitorial services. She told me to call this morning around ten. Could you put me through? (How about a plate glass window? --D. M.)
[...]
I have some suggestions:

When the caller makes his/her pitch, and says your name, pretend to be someone else and start crying hard; say "[person named] died a month ago!" Cry bitterly. "How could you bring that up!" Embarrassed caller will apologize and hang up immediately.

Al Jaffee suggested the "Cosa Nostra Ploy." Sound tough as you say, "Da boss don' like a meeting interrupted an' he's gonna send a couple boys over t'have a little chat wit' whoever is responsible!"

Agree to what they're selling, burt make all kind of remarks about being insolvent. They'll avoid you like the plague.

Last edited by dougie_monty; 04-19-2014 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:03 AM
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Sorry. The browser posted the same reply twice.

Last edited by dougie_monty; 04-19-2014 at 02:04 AM.
  #29  
Old 04-19-2014, 08:10 AM
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Sorry. The browser posted the same reply twice.
Sounds like malware. Open a new browser window and type . . .
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:32 AM
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My standard response is to ask if they can hold for a second, then just put the phone down and ignore it. But nowadays, most telemarketing calls seem to be robo-calls and there is nobody to piss off.

Occasionally, I get a call from a police charity. I'm still trying to work up the balls to start yelling, "A cop killed my brother last month! You filthy pigs!!...." and yadda yadda yadda. Wish I could pull that one off.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:42 AM
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When I was working in real estate, we'd tell them to call back and ask for "Mr. Meoff. First name Jack." About 50% of them would do this before realizing what they said.

For copy machine and computer calls, I would say emphatically "We do NOT have such a machine. In fact, we think owning them is part of a governmental conspiracy to keep track of every aspect of every second of everyone's life. And you are part of that conspiracy. Admit it.." and go on as long as I could, getting louder and louder until they hung up on the crazy lady.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:50 AM
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Y'all are hilarious. A few honorable mentions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by R. P. McMurphy View Post
I'm sick and tired of the damn thing and would they please come and get it, the sooner the better.
Made ME laugh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batistuta View Post
I just pretend to be so happy to hear their voices after so long.
Brilliant. Another corker!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Me: Oh, yes, absolutely! Can you hold for a moment?
I used to do that too, but decided it's probably better not to piss off scammers and telemarketers. After all, they might have a button for "Call back, this one sounds promising!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by seal_cleaner View Post
"No, sorry, I don't have a phone..."
Hah!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCentStamp View Post
Let me tell you the story of Ms. Releasha Jones.
tears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
I'm sorry, hold on, the mouse ran off again.
LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
The best one was when I'd say I'm entering a cloistered convent tomorrow where I'll be completely shut off from the world, and won't be needing a phone or a computer any more. I'd say this with great excitement and joy in my voice. No one ever knew how to reply to that one.
FTW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
My standard response is to ask if they can hold for a second, then just put the phone down and ignore it. But nowadays, most telemarketing calls seem to be robo-calls and there is nobody to piss off.
Those are the ones where I do just set the phone down and continue working, and hang it up when it clicks. Doing my little part to slow down the robo call, with little possibility of causing any harm.

Last edited by Learjeff; 04-19-2014 at 11:51 AM.
  #33  
Old 04-19-2014, 07:15 PM
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I don't bother with those telephone scamsters, I've got great opportunities coming in by e-mail. Like this one today:

"I am Mr. Douglas Adams a business consultant to a prominent Saudi Arabian from
the Royal Family. My client is seeking for a confidential and credible
foreigner, company or person with whom he can jointly invest with.

My client has Thirty Five Million United States Dollars (US$35,000,000.00) with
a reliable Finance House in abroad. Due to his public nature hence I have been
given the mandate to source for a credible person.

This is the proposal in summary:

[1] He wants these funds to be invested by a reliable person / company whom he
can front without publicly disclosing his identity due to his public status.

[2] The funds will be moved/transferred to you inconspicuously through his
Charity Foundation here in US.

[3] You will be entitled to 5% of the funds, which shall cover any initial
expenses you may incur during the transfer process while you shall assist to
invest the remaining 95%

In summery all that is required is your willingness to receive and invest 95% of
the fund under profitable business or investment, which shall be decide later."


Ha, what does this guy think I am, some kind of sucker? I'm gonna hold out for 10% of the 35 million, plus I get to invest all the funds in Jackmannii Futures LLC.

I will be rolling in loot.
  #34  
Old 04-19-2014, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
I don't bother with those telephone scamsters, I've got great opportunities coming in by e-mail. Like this one today:

"I am Mr. Douglas Adams a business consultant to a prominent Saudi Arabian from
the Royal Family. My client is seeking for a confidential and credible
foreigner, company or person with whom he can jointly invest with.

My client has Thirty Five Million United States Dollars (US$35,000,000.00) with
a reliable Finance House in abroad. Due to his public nature hence I have been
given the mandate to source for a credible person.

This is the proposal in summary:

[1] He wants these funds to be invested by a reliable person / company whom he
can front without publicly disclosing his identity due to his public status.

[2] The funds will be moved/transferred to you inconspicuously through his
Charity Foundation here in US.

[3] You will be entitled to 5% of the funds, which shall cover any initial
expenses you may incur during the transfer process while you shall assist to
invest the remaining 95%

In summery all that is required is your willingness to receive and invest 95% of
the fund under profitable business or investment, which shall be decide later."


Ha, what does this guy think I am, some kind of sucker? I'm gonna hold out for 10% of the 35 million, plus I get to invest all the funds in Jackmannii Futures LLC.

I will be rolling in loot.
Hey, can I have a piece of that? I want to be rich, too.
  #35  
Old 04-19-2014, 09:53 PM
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I say "Oh, is the the sex hotline returning my call? Role-playing like a telemarketer -- that's cute. What are you wearing?" I've even had a few that thought it was amusing, and were tempted to play along a little bit.

I can't be accused or charged with harassment or anything that I say, because they are the party who called me.
  #36  
Old 04-20-2014, 09:02 AM
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You answer your phone? How cute.

I never ever pick up my land line unless caller ID tells me its someone Im waiting to hear from. Friends only email or text. But good luck with that too cuz I dont turn my cell on unless Im expecting a call.

But Oy! the door to door solicitors are thick in my neighborhood. If Im outside working in the yard and one comes up to me and asks if Im the "Lady of the House", I look puzzled and shrug, "Lady no home!" and go back to what Im doing. Eventually they leave.
  #37  
Old 04-20-2014, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by SerafinaPekala View Post
You answer your phone? How cute.

I never ever pick up my land line unless caller ID tells me its someone Im waiting to hear from. Friends only email or text. But good luck with that too cuz I dont turn my cell on unless Im expecting a call.

<snip>.
I don't have a land line anymore. I also don't answer my cell phone unless I recognize the number. I've changed my cell phone message to "Hi, this is Thelma. Leave me a message and I'll get back to you. If this is a business call or if I don't know you, and you want a call back, please tell me why you're calling. Thanks!"

I don't get bogus calls from people, as a rule, but I do get those recorded robo-calls, "Hi! This Bob from account services!" I don't know what comes after that, because I hang up immediately. I figure those calls are the ones where the machine just dials one number after the other until it connects.

Re not turning your cell phone on unless you're expecting a call: since I now just have the one phone, I always have mine on, but often I will turn the ringer off. There's no need to turn the phone off. There is the ONE call that you might not be expecting but that you absolutely DO NOT want to miss. Sometimes unexpected good things happen and unexpected devastating things happen and turning your phone off cuts you off. The person who is trying to reach you may not have the strength to email when they're lying in the wreckage of their car or sitting on the curb at night doubled over in pain. When I turn my phone off, turning it back on will show missed text messages but not missed calls. Turning off the ringer means you WILL see who called when you check your phone from time to time.
  #38  
Old 04-20-2014, 08:50 PM
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A few weeks ago, I had someone with an Indian accent call me and say that when I was in WalMart last week, I had filled out a sweepstakes ticket, and what do you know, I had WON!! (I had not been inside a WalMart in several weeks, and had never filled out anything there.) I *knew* this was going to be some sort of scam, so I began SCREAMING into the phone at the top of my lungs, "I won? I WON? OH MY GOD I REALLY WON?" over and over. I heard him put his phone on mute, and after a few moments I asked if he was still there?

He cautiously replied that he was, so I started screamin again, "WHAT DID I WIN? WHAT DID I WIN? YOU HAVE TO TELL ME RIGHT NOW!!!!" He muted his phone again. I'm sure he was telling his co-workers what an idiot I was. Again, I asked if he was there, and he proceeded to tell me that I had won an all expense paid vacation...

I interrupted him, screaming again, "A vacation? I won a VACATION? I haven't had a REAL vacation since 1986!!! OMG OMG OMG I can't believe it!!! Where am I going..."

He interrupted ME and said ma'am, are you really excited or are you being... um... what is the word..."

And I said, "well why WOULDN'T I be excited if this is ligit you piece of shit?" and hung up.

My throat was scratchy from the yelling for a couple days, but it was worth it.
  #39  
Old 04-21-2014, 11:47 AM
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Best. Ever. Comeback.

I got this from a friend of mine. I'd been getting tons of calls from one specific number. It had called so often I'd come to recognize it and was bitching about on FB. The friend responded and said, "try this: 'It's done, but there's blood everywhere.' "

This deeply appealed to my dark side. Yes, I do worry about myself from time to time...

So, the next time it rang with that number, I motioned my cubemate over. She'd been aware of what had been going on, and had enthusiastically volunteered to do the dirty.

In a gritty, breathless voice she mumbled the above. The person on the other end may have given themselves whiplash hanging up. We screamed with laughter long enuf that a couple of cuberats came looking for whatever had cracked us up so bad.

Funny, but they never called me back after that.
  #40  
Old 04-21-2014, 11:53 AM
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In your best Ernest Angely voice, ask then if they've accepted "Jeee-zusssss-uh" as their personal savior... then start reading to them from the book of Revelations.
  #41  
Old 04-21-2014, 11:57 AM
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My dad used to pay me a quarter a minute to waste their time when I was six.
  #42  
Old 04-21-2014, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCentStamp View Post
Within six months, Releasha Jones was getting 15-20 calls a week. Within nine months, she was getting mail addressed to her. Catalogs. Flyers. Calendars. Mouse pads. Free samples of OTC pharmaceuticals. I left that company in June of 2010, and over a year later, she was still getting mail.
This story is awesome. I will warn you though, she'll probably still be getting calls after you're dead. I still get calls for the office manager who left 10 years ago, even though I tell every. single. caller that she's been gone for a very long time.

I also get calls for our IT manager who left 5 years ago. He got all kinds of junk calls, and it's never really slowed down that much since he left. However, his job kind of absorbed by a lot of people -- including me -- so there's no more "IT manager". (We're small.) This flummoxes their scripts.

"May I please speak to <IT Manager's Name>?"

"He's no longer employed here. What do you need help with?"

"Oh, may I speak to your IT Manager?"

"We don't have one."

"Oh... can I get the person in charge of purchasing technology for your company?"

"Most people at our company can purchase technology -- we're small. Are you selling something?"

"Oh no, of course not! We just need information from your IT Manager."

"Well we don't have one."

"Then I need the person who has his position now?"

"Technically, I'm the person who took his position but I'm not IT Manager. IT tasks have been distributed throughout the company."

"So you're in charge of all your company's technology purchases?"

"Nope. I really don't do any purchasing."

"Who is in charge of that?"

"No one person is in charge of that, it depends on what it is."

"Uh, I... could I talk to the person in charge of purchasing network equipment?"

"Why? We're not buying anything."

"I just need to talk to the person in charge of networking equipment."

"Several people handle networking here and they've all made purchases."

Repeat for many iterations, as they will never admit it's a sales call or tell you what they want. It's always "they want information" or it's a "survey" or they want to know about our satisfaction with products (that they didn't sell us). But they won't tell you what because they can't ask anyone but their target. And I won't give them a target, or anyone's name, because then they'll call back with that name. It just goes on and on until I get bored and end the call.
  #43  
Old 04-21-2014, 02:58 PM
fluiddruid is offline
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Oh, another one. We used to be plagued with guys giving free industry magazine subscriptions out. They needed to "confirm" it with us. I'm guessing it was data mining for more cold calls, as they always wanted things like extension numbers and email addresses, as well as getting up circulation numbers to sell ads. They tried pretty much every employee at the company until they got a firm no from each person.

One guy just basically refused to take these calls, but the people WOULD NOT STOP until they reached him. No matter what I said, including to stop calling us and put us on the no-call list, would work because they insisted that only the person on their list could make that call. This would have been merely annoying but they started calling more and more often. First once a month, then once a week, then a few times a week... finally getting to the point where they were calling 4 to 5 times every day. I don't know if they were trying to make a quota or what, but it got annoying as hell.

Finally, the calls went like this:

Caller: "May I please speak to <Name>?"

Me: "Is this regarding <name of shitty magazine>?"

Caller: "Uhhhhh..... yes."

Me: "Then no, you can't. He's told me he does not want to speak with you. Ever."

Caller: "Is there a time he would be available?"

Me: "Nope, he will never be available for your call. Put us on your do-not-call list, bye."

They would often call right back after I hung up, or wait ten minutes. Over and over and over and over. For like a month. I couldn't even pretend to be the guy since I'm a lady. I begged the guy to just take a call and tell them to fob off so I could have my sanity back. He wouldn't do it.

Finally, my (male) boss got mad about it and decided to handle it himself. They called once when I was hanging out in his office. I recognized the number. He smiled and picked up the phone (on speaker) pretending to be the other guy, and absolutely REAMED the people about wasting our time. It was truly glorious to behold. He just went on and on for like twenty minutes, just absolutely berating them mercilessly. Demanding all kinds of information, asking them why they are wasting his time after they've been told we're not interested, asking who in their company he needs to contact to get this done and for them to stop harassing our staff, saying he'd never have interest in a publication so terrible they need to resort to these tactics. Usually I have some pity but seriously, these people were just the worst.

Last edited by fluiddruid; 04-21-2014 at 02:58 PM.
  #44  
Old 04-21-2014, 03:13 PM
Shodan is offline
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I get the Indian scammer from Microsoft telling me my wife's computer is generating error messages, but I have never had more initiative than telling him "it's a Mac you fucking crook" and hanging up.

Rachel/Heather/Ann from Credit Account Services calls me two or three times a week, but I usually just answer "lick my nutsack you ass-licking whore" in a calm, pleasant voice until they hang up. I've tried the "just a minute, I have to get my wallet" and then putting down the phone until they hang up but that is not as much fun.

Regards,
Shodan
  #45  
Old 04-21-2014, 03:55 PM
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I've never messed with an actual scammer, but thought I'd share an amusing story anyway:

The yellow pages telemarketer calls up and tries to sell me on their services. I usually try with these people to be polite when I hang up, but this guy just keeps going like I'm not even there. So I think "If he's going to ignore me, let's see how long this goes."

So I put him on speaker phone and go back to work. Periodically, I say "Yeah" or "Uh huh" but give him no other reinforcement or encouragement as I let him talk for forty-five (yes, that 45) minutes. Finally, he's out of scripts to read and has to get an actual decision from me. This is the first time he's actually let me get a word in edgewise. At this point, I say "Like I tried to tell you at the beginning of this, I'm not interested. Have a nice day."

(There was one valuable lesson I learned though: If you let them talk long enough, the discounts get better and better. If I ever wanted to buy from the yellow pages, I figure that 25 minutes of hemming and hawing should get me a 60% discount over their initial offer.)
  #46  
Old 04-21-2014, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dracoi View Post
<snip>
(There was one valuable lesson I learned though: If you let them talk long enough, the discounts get better and better. If I ever wanted to buy from the yellow pages, I figure that 25 minutes of hemming and hawing should get me a 60% discount over their initial offer.)
At that point you probably could have gotten him to pay YOU per month for the privilege of carrying your ad in the yellow pages. Maybe come to your house and wash your car and mow your lawn, too.

Aside and unrelated: I HATE the way there are different "yellow pages" now put out by different companies. WTF is this Yellow Book thing? My revenge is that I immediately throw them all away and look up any needed numbers on the internet. Thank you. Carry on.
  #47  
Old 04-21-2014, 08:11 PM
SerafinaPekala is offline
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I don't have a land line anymore. I also don't answer my cell phone unless I recognize the number. I've changed my cell phone message to "Hi, this is Thelma. Leave me a message and I'll get back to you. If this is a business call or if I don't know you, and you want a call back, please tell me why you're calling. Thanks!"

I don't get bogus calls from people, as a rule, but I do get those recorded robo-calls, "Hi! This Bob from account services!" I don't know what comes after that, because I hang up immediately. I figure those calls are the ones where the machine just dials one number after the other until it connects.

Re not turning your cell phone on unless you're expecting a call: since I now just have the one phone, I always have mine on, but often I will turn the ringer off. There's no need to turn the phone off. There is the ONE call that you might not be expecting but that you absolutely DO NOT want to miss. Sometimes unexpected good things happen and unexpected devastating things happen and turning your phone off cuts you off. The person who is trying to reach you may not have the strength to email when they're lying in the wreckage of their car or sitting on the curb at night doubled over in pain. When I turn my phone off, turning it back on will show missed text messages but not missed calls. Turning off the ringer means you WILL see who called when you check your phone from time to time.
"Lying in the wreckage of their car" ?? They better be calling 911, not me!

I dont fancy myself that important that I need to be in 24/7 contact with the world. Now that I work for myself and by myself I have the luxury of concentrating on what Im doing and screw the interruptions.

Shouldnt phones be a convenience? Somehow they've become the constant nagging demanding interlopers. The Amish seem to manage just fine w/o them in their homes.

Not convinced. My cell stays off unless Im expecting someone. If they call the landline, voicemail can pick it up and Ill check to see if its important when I feel like it. "Dont call us. We'll call you."

Last edited by SerafinaPekala; 04-21-2014 at 08:13 PM.
  #48  
Old 04-22-2014, 11:04 AM
jtur88 is offline
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I have several friends who have unlimited long distance and think I have unlimited time to listen to them. Sometimes it is a relief to pick up the phone and it is somebody I can hang up on.
  #49  
Old 04-22-2014, 07:33 PM
Hari Seldon is online now
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Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Disclaimer: I didn't read the whole thread.

Usually with any telephone solicitor, I just interrupt as soon as possible and say, "Thank you so much for the offer, but I'm not interested," and immediately hang up. I'm never rude, because back in college when I was really broke, I did some phone calling for a while, and anyone who is doing that job is probably at the end of their rope emotionally and financially and I'm not going to be the one to push them over the edge.

But back when you got lots of calls wanting you to switch your phone carrier or your ISP, I had some classics..

One was that I couldn't switch my ISP because I have this new boyfriend and he works for AOL <or whatever> and he'd never forgive me. They got that right away.

Sometimes I'd say that I couldn't switch my carrier because I've taken a religious vow and it would make God mad. That usually shut them up, because it wasn't in their script.

The best one was when I'd say I'm entering a cloistered convent tomorrow where I'll be completely shut off from the world, and won't be needing a phone or a computer any more. I'd say this with great excitement and joy in my voice. No one ever knew how to reply to that one.

My daughter once worked at a call center so I have a bit of sympathy. But this thread is mostly about scams and that's a different case, one I have no sympathy for. As a matter of fact, I got a call just this afternoon from a woman claiming to be from Microsoft technical center. She had a slight Indian accent. I asked her if her mother knew she was a thief and hung up. I think I got this line off these boards.
  #50  
Old 04-23-2014, 02:05 AM
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Wow this thread was educational. I didn't know about the fake appointments and other scams. We don't get the computer problem or card services scam here, but we get a few people calling random numbers (probably from China). I might try the "put the phone down and see how long it takes for them to hang up" trick next time.
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