Creative ways to deal with this phone scammer.

No, it’s not Rachel from cardholder services.

I’ve got a call from a live person (caller ID says 011-000-0000000) twice this week and it’s a guy with a thick accent telling me he got a memo saying my computer is infected and wants me to go to it immediately and start following his directions.:rolleyes:
The first time I was outside watching my son ride his bike so I played along telling him I was following his steps but then got bored and started telling him stuff like mickey mouse was on my computer screen and he told me not to click there and how I can’t use my mouse because the cat just ate it, etc. He never flinched and just stayed right on script. I finally told him Donald Duck had just arrived and told me to hang up.
The same guy (or he sure sounded like the same guy) called again yesterday while I was in my car. When he said he got a memo that said my computer was infected I put on a cowboy accent and called him a “damn fool” and a “son of a bitch liar” because “I ain’t got no computer.” When he kept on script I raised my voice and yelled “YOU ARE A GA DAMN LIAAAAR!!” he finally hung up.

You guys are a creative bunch. Any ideas for the next time he calls me?

“Computers killed my father! And raped my mother!” Sob, then hang up.

I tell the truth:

Me: “Which computer?”
Them: “Your household computer”
Me: “There are multiple computers in this house, running multiple operating systems. You told me you have a report that my computer is infected. Which one is it?”
Them: “Windows”
Me: “There are three separate versions of windows, which one is it?” (they don’t need to know the XP machine isn’t even connected to anything :D)
Them: “It doesn’t matter, your computers all use the same internet connection”
Me: “Um, no. You said my computer was infected. You implied that there was a specific machine that had generated a specific report that you are acting on. At the very least you should be able to tell me which of my windows versions is reporting this infection”

That’s about the point where they hang up.

If I ever get another of those calls (unlikely since I almost never answer calls with wonky call display info), I am going to ask them to tell me what my ISP and IP address is. The answers should be interesting.

I got one of those calls yesterday:

“Sir, Your Computer just alerted us. It has a virus!” (I am NOT a “sir”)
“Yes, You need to do exactly as I say!”
Well, I don’t have a computer , and YOU’RE a scammer!"
“You MUST do as I say!!”
“How can I do that If I don’t have a computer? And oh, by the way, if I did have a computer, It would be an Apple product, not suseptable to your ****ing virus!”

I kept one of those scammers on the phone for about 20 minutes, pretending to follow her instructions.

When it got to the point where I had to enter credit card details, I told her I knew it was a scam and had just been wasting her time. Instead of just hanging up on me, she got angry with me for wasting her time. Somehow we ended up talking for another 15 minutes or so about the comparative wealth of Australia and India, what the job market was like there, the morality of the scam she was involved in and then about the foundations of moral behaviour in general. It was not how I expected the call to end, to say the least.

We just got an email from the tech guy at work about this two days ago. Apparently someone called a coworker and told him that his work computer was hacked and infected and to avoid infecting other computers in the network he must follow his instructions. The email didn’t say if this coworker actually fell for it, but the tech guy reminded us not to fall for this “age old scam”.

Occasionally my husband and I get the urge to mess with a telemarketer or scammer on the phone. Sometimes my husband pretends* he’s hard of hearing and very pleasantly and cooperatively makes the caller say everything several times, occasionally pushing random buttons on the phone while he tries to increase the volume. Sometimes he creatively misunderstands a word or phrase and goes into his insulted old geezer routine. (“Eh? Did you just call me a Commie, young man? Why, I fought the Commies in Dubya Dubya Two…”) Sometimes he talks to them in “another language” that he makes up as he goes along or he puts on a really thick German accent. The goal is always to make them stay on the line as long as possible while accomplishing none of their goals.

We have a pretty good system worked out. He handles all the incoming garbage phone calls, and I call companies that send us ridiculous things in the mail.

  • He actually *is *hard of hearing, but his phone ear still works.

You’re amateur 419 eaters! Wasting the time of scammers is an *amazing *concept that some people have perfected into an art form.

And this should concern me for some reason?

I think you should start telling them about how you run a scamming operation and thank them for the call because you’re making nearly $1000/hr and an infected computer would definitely not be good. Then spend the rest of the call trying to recruit them into your fake scamming operation. Of course, they can work from home! All you need is their name and the bank account where they want the funds sent to. Then you’ll send them a new call list and they can get started right away.

Well, I’ve handled these in a few different ways. One is to keep at them asking how they got my personal information to know that ‘my computer’ corresponded to my phone number, and listening as they evaded the question time and time again. :wink:

When I recognized it early enough, I lied and said “Windows computer? No, I don’t have any Windows computer. Totally a Mac household, bro.” :smiley:

A few ideas if they call back.

“Alright let me check the vacuum tubes, it’ll just take a sec.”

“Is it my OS/2 computer or my Windows 2.0 computer?”

“Hold on my Speccy is in the middle of loading a tape.”

“I don’t own a Windows computer, Apple Newton 4 life yo.”

I wasn’t being sarcastic, I was being sincere. :frowning:

I’ve said this in other threads, but I treat the phone calls as a free improv class, and I consider the email scammers to be penpals.

Huh. I still don’t know what you’re getting at, but it’s not important. No reason to get :frowning: about it; I was just curious.

419 Eaters are scammer baiters who engage with the advance fee Nigerian email scammers. Rachellelogram is saying you’re doing the same thing, and that she approves. :slight_smile:

I had a couple of those calls. I asked who they thought they were contacting…and since we’d recently gotten a new phone number, the guy answered with the previous phone number owner’s name, Ernesto Sanchez or something like that. I said nope, that’s not us. The guy insisted that our computer was infected anyway, and he needed me to do this and that. I said nope, you gotta track down old Sanchez, there’s no Sanchez here, and our computer didn’t HAVE this phone number connected with it.

We went back and forth a few times, he was getting increasingly upset because I wasn’t falling for his script, and I was getting more and more amused about tying him in knots. What can I say? I was bored, and any time I can frustrate a scammer I count it as a win for my side.

For those unfamiliar with these guys, they direct you to go to a web-based vnc site to allow them to connect directly to your computer. These vnc sites are generally legitimate operations - you click the right buttons on their webpage and it gives you an access code, which you communicate to the person wanting remote access, they enter the code in the website and a vnc tunnel is created between the machines. This facilitates things like remote tech support without having to install any software, which can be extremely useful. However, these guys want remote access to your machine to install ransomware which they then offer to remove for a fee.

I do what I do with smarmy telemarketers. I say “Oh, you need to talk to my wife… *‘Honey, there’s a man on the phone for you!’ *… Just wait a minute, she’s in the shower”.

And I put the phone down on the counter. As I go about my day, I occasionally yell out “Honnnney… Phone!” from a distance.