What to do when receiving scam phone call

Earlier today I received a phone call reminding me that the warranty on my washing machine is about to expire, and offering me the chance to extend it. Since I purchased my washing machine second hand from a private seller, with no warranty given, this was obviously a frraud.

I simply hung up the phone. But then I wondered if there anything more I could or should do about it? Should I report this to someone? Who?

I live in England, by the way.

I read a warning once that said that, no matter what you say or do, do not say “Yes” in the course of answering a scam phone call (i.e., callers would say, “Hello? Can you hear me?”, hoping the bewildered recipient will say, “Yes.”)

If you say “Yes,” they will have recorded it on audio, and then copy+paste your “Yes” as a forged consent for numerous this-or-thats, and then be able to claim in court that you said “Yes,” (“yes, I’ll give you $50,000!”) using your vocal-cord signature, since everyone’s vocal cords are different.

I always say “no”. But then it turned out the secret question was “Can you afford to miss this opportunity to extend your washing machine warranty?”

Seriously, this is ridiculous - it is an urban legend.

Probably not - 'Can You Hear Me?' Scam Warning | Snopes.com

Completely. A contract requires a “meeting of the minds” and just saying yes into a phone does in no way meet that legal standard. Besides, no scammer would ever appear in court unless compelled.

I either hang up immediately or exercise my command of invective. Depends on my mood.

I hang up, if I’ve made the mistake of answering an unknown number in the first place. Life is too short to report someone calling with a scam from overseas.

I know they’ll be posts after mine when people post their joy in messing with the scammers. I just don’t have the time to waste after the first few seconds of dealing with a scam call
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I always say, “Great! I’ve been wanting to <get whatever they are selling>!! But I’ve got something on the stove. Just hang on for ONE MINUTE!” Then I put the phone down and go about my business.

If I’m not too busy, I’ll pick up the phone every 45 seconds or so and say, “Still there? GREAT! I’m ALMOST ready! Hang on!”

Ah OK, ignorance fought.

For a while I was getting some very aggressive “there’s a problem with your computer” scam calls, and got so annoyed that I reported them to both the FCC and FTC (US government agencies). Someone I spoke to on one of the government hotlines for these things said that it’s best to just hang up immediately. He said you don’t even want to say “I know this is a scam”, because any sign of life will encourage them to keep calling.

Usually I just hang up.

Once, I got a poor chappie with a terrible accent, who strayed a bit from the script. “I’m calling from your computer.” I couldn’t help it, I laughed out loud.

Then I hung up.

I often ask them if their mother knows what they do for a living.

You people still actually answer the phone? How quaint.

Years ago I worked in a big chain retail store, we got a call from some company offering to list us in some fantastic special business directory phone book. An employee gave them the typical thanks but no thanks, then weeks later, we got the phone book in the mail anyway, with a bill for a couple hundred dollars. When the manager called to dispute it, they immediately played a recording of the employee saying “yes” to their offer. The store ended up just paying the bill, but the employee swore he never agreed to that. We figured they must have recorded him saying yes to something else, it seemed pretty sketchy they were instantly ready to “prove” we agreed with a recording. I think a scam like this isn’t intended to hold up in court, but instead get big companies to just pay and forget it. If the store fought the charge I bet they wouldn’t have pursued us further.

Same story, about twenty years ago, at the restaurant I managed. I was the one they happened to talk to, I told them I wasn’t interested, then got a bill anyway. The owner disputed it with them, and they played a recording of me saying “yes.” In the end he told them he wasn’t falling for their scam, and asked them what they were going to do about it. And that was the end of it.

I usually try to dick with scam callers at least a bit. My standard response is to act confused, say something confusing, and ask for more information - so in the case of this example, it would have been “Which washing machine? I have many washing machines. There are over 1000 washing machines in this room alone. Which one?”

To the OP: Hang up immediately, and then report to the police and/ or to the company in whose name the product is being sold.

Who in the police, though?

Since the OP is in the UK, if s/he wants to report this, they should use the centralised Action Fraud service, which is the national fraud prevention service for this sort of thing. I can’t work out how to do fancy-pants URL embedding in Tapatalk, so here you go:


I personally wouldn’t bother though.

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In the US, there is a Do Not Call registry you can report the number to.

I’ve been getting a bunch of calls about some “vacation reward”. Usually I just hang up, but the other day I had an idea. I thought that maybe if I stay on as long as I can without buying anything, their call center metrics would register my number as an expensive waste of time. So once I reached a human, I just tried to keep her on the phone as long as possible with stuff like:

Q: What’s the weather like there?
A: Not bad…about 80% and slightly humid. Partially cloudy with a 0% chance of precipitation. The wind is blowing from the NE at about 5 knots…

Q: Have you ever been to Florida?
A: No where’s that?
Q: You don’t know where Florida is?
A: No. I’m not from this country and geography isn’t my strong suit.
Q: Well you speak English very well.
A: Thanks. I studied English at Miami.
Q: Miami is in Florida.
A: I went to University of Miami in Ohio. Is that near Florida?

Q: You won free tickets to Disney World…
A: What is that?
Q: You don’t know Disney World? The Magic Kingdom?
A: No, is it some kind or theme park or small country ruled by a monarch or something?
Q: Yes, it’s a theme park in Florida
A: Do they allow both good and evil “magic”?
Q: Um…I think it’s all good?
A: …because we have these twin daughters and…you know…one twin is always the evil one and I want her to have a good time too.
Q: Thank you. Goodbye.

I used to just hang up. Then the combination of increased spam/scam calls, caller ID spoofing and buying an Apple watch caused me to send the calls right to voice mail. I bought the watch about a year ago, and immediately began the practice using it to decline any call from a number that is not in my contact list. I have had no adverse results from not answering the phone, and I don’t have to get my phone out to do it.