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What do you do when a scam operation calls you?  Choose as many as apply.

My phone alerts me that they're scammers, so I never even answer
I answer and then immediately hang up
I pretend to play along for a while before finally ending the call
I chew them out for calling
Other
I never get scam calls

Author Topic: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?  (Read 1508 times)

kphoger

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What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« on: March 13, 2019, 01:56:54 PM »

I know I'm not alone in getting scam operations calling me every so often.  In fact, it's pretty common that I get more than one call from these guys per day.  Lately, it's been (presumably) callers from India spoofing their phone number so it looks like a local number.  These are obviously scammers, and it's been my experience that most of the "operators" know full well they're working for a scam operation.  Only once or twice has a scam "operator" given any indication that he thought he was working for a legit company.

So what do you do when you get these calls?

I do one of several things.  Sometimes I answer and then go berserk with loud nonsense noises.  They actually usually stay on the line and listen to that for a while.  Once, I had a guy call me back and immediately start doing the same thing back to me.  It was great fun.  If I'm in the car, I'll often turn up the radio really loud to see if they want to listen along for a while, but they never do.  Once, I had a five-minute-long conversation about pooping with the guy on the other end.  If I'm at a computer when the call comes in, my latest favorite is to answer their questions with lines from Star Trek episode transcripts; at work, I keep one internet tab open with a list of transcripts for just this purpose.  This is more fun than my previous habit of reciting pop song lyrics or portions of the Gettysburg Address,  but it is more likely to result in my being cussed at.
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Brandon

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 01:59:03 PM »

It's more fun to waste their time and energy.  The more time I waste of theirs, the less time they have to scam someone gullible.
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Rothman

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 02:03:49 PM »

I don't think pranking the schmoe sitting in the call center does much to the scammers.  I just block the number.
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Big John

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 02:19:19 PM »

If I don't recognize the number, I don't answer.
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SP Cook

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 02:23:23 PM »

Wasting these people's time is the only way to harm them.  Depending on my mood, I will either I will talk about sex acts in graphic detail, respond in a faux Arabic like language, or tell Alexa to play Ralph Stanley songs.  If they claim to be from the IRS or other government (the government will NEVER call you in the first instance about a debt) I give them the correct address of the United States Court House and the name and number of the US Magistrate and tell them a warrant has been issued for their arrest and they need to contact the judge before noon tomorrow to arrange bail.

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index

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 02:52:24 PM »

A friend and I used to prank call tech support scam numbers when we were younger and we'd waste hours of their time in virtual machines. It gets to the point where they begin to angrily speak Hindi into the microphone, or curse you out in emotionless, robotic English. Imagine someone with a heavy Indian accent, in a defeated, expressionless voice, insulting you with random profanities. They would start to breathe heavily when you got to the screen when you put in credit card info and they'd get really angry when you didn't put it in.


It was pretty funny. Eventually we ended up getting our phone number blacklisted. I think it still is to this day.
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webny99

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 03:07:46 PM »

All the options in the poll assume you know they're a scammer. What if you usually fall for it? :-P
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Brandon

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 03:09:03 PM »

All the options in the poll assume you know they're a scammer. What if you usually fall for it? :-P

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 04:25:46 PM »

If I don't recognize the number, I don't answer.

Same here, which is why I chose "other." If it's important, they'll leave a message.
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kphoger

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2019, 04:40:56 PM »

All the options in the poll assume you know they're a scammer. What if you usually fall for it? :-P

"Other"




If I don't recognize the number, I don't answer.

Same here, which is why I chose "other." If it's important, they'll leave a message.

What I dislike about doing that is that I almost always end up with a voicemail, which I still have to go into and delete.
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1995hoo

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2019, 04:48:02 PM »

If I don't recognize the number, I don't answer.

Same here, and that includes numbers purporting to be in the same exchange as mine.

At home we have a robocall-blocking service (Nomorobo). It’s not perfect, but it screens out a heck of a lot of calls. I’m considering subscribing to it on my mobile phone (it’s free for home but not for mobile) because the call-screening app I use (Hiya, recommended by a friend) isn’t very effective.
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kphoger

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2019, 04:53:52 PM »


If I don't recognize the number, I don't answer.

Same here, and that includes numbers purporting to be in the same exchange as mine.

That's my biggest cue it's a scammer, and thus it's my biggest cue that I do want to answer and have some fun.  I think I only know one other person with the same exchange as my cell phone, and that's my wife.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2019, 05:07:17 PM »

I answer, than I say something stupid for fun, than I hang up.
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lepidopteran

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2019, 05:52:41 PM »

If they say something at the beginning like "Can you hear me OK?", don't answer "Yes".  (They can use that against you later, by saying you agreed to purchase something.)  Instead, try something evasive like "That's for me to know, and you to find out."  Chances are, it will automatically disconnect. 
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cjk374

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2019, 06:49:16 PM »

Tom Mabe.

Look him up if you don't who he is.
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djsekani

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2019, 07:22:37 PM »

Hard to have fun with a spam call when it's always a recording.
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J N Winkler

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2019, 07:55:30 PM »

We have a landline phone and use an answering machine to screen incoming calls.  I also have a cell phone and do not share the number with the intent that it be used for voice calls.  I do not receive calls often--probably just once a week on average, if that much--and probably 90% of them are scammers or wrong numbers, with the remaining 10% being pocket dialing from people I text with regularly.

I do not think I would be especially vulnerable to telephone scams even if I could hear.  I do feel, however, that I am vulnerable to misbehavior from legitimate businesses in regard to transactions that require payment of a rebate or refund in arrears.  For example, last October Booking.com sent me (via snail mail) a come-on promising $20 off a booking valued at over $70 if I booked by such and such a date at a special URL included in the letter.  When I typed in the URL, it redirected to the Booking.com website.  I did make a booking (staying in the $50/night category rather than counting my chickens before they hatched) and am still awaiting the $20 rebate.  And I am still waiting for Amazon.com to refund me the cost of an order I made that they could not deliver because I gave them a General Delivery address and they opted to ship via UPS.  I am increasingly convinced it is a deliberate, intentional strategy for businesses to take the customer's money, sit on it when they are not entitled to it, and wait for the customer to complain.
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noelbotevera

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2019, 08:18:23 PM »

All the options in the poll assume you know they're a scammer. What if you usually fall for it? :-P

Hello, this is the Windows Maintenance Department calling about your computer.
Uh, yes, good day sir, how can I download more RAM?

Nowadays, I don't really get scam calls that often. When I was younger and was still using a landline (my parents were laggards to the smartphone party), I would hang up every number that I didn't recognize. Sadly, I miss those days, because nowadays I actually wish I'd get a scam call to mess with people. Unless it's a recording (you can tell if the "voice" has an American accent on the other end).

Kinda odd how you can be nostalgic for something utterly annoying.
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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2019, 08:20:27 PM »

If it’s a number I do not recognize, I will usually not answer. John Oliver has been ridiculing the FCC for not doing anything to stop the increase in robocalls since 2016.
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GaryV

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2019, 08:36:30 PM »

I've heard of people who keep a referee whistle near the phone ..........
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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2019, 09:02:14 PM »

Other:  If I don't know you, voicemail or you didn't call.
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Duke87

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2019, 09:03:39 PM »

I just reject any and all calls from numbers with the same area code and exchange as me that isn't someone in my contacts.

Occasionally I'll get some robocall that's from somewhere else entirely - those I'll end up answering, since a call from some non-nearby area code is usually work-related. But as soon as it reveals itself to be a robocall I just immediately hang up.

I've never had any interaction with a human attempting to scam me via phone so if they're calling me, they're doing it with one of those spoofed numbers that I don't answer.


I have no desire to play games with a telemarketer/scammer or otherwise try and annoy them. They are beneath me and not worth my attention.

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2019, 09:09:12 PM »

Many get picked up by Nomorobo.  Ones that get through, I usually ignore, but once in a while answer and see how long I can keep them on the phone to waste their time, being careful not to agree to anything.  As soon as I get into a question like "are you calling from my town since this looks like a local number" they usually hang right up.  I've had a few that I'm 99% sure were actual people rather than a computer responding, where any answer I gave that wasn't the one they wanted to hear, I'd get variations on "I didn't catch that", "could you repeat that", etc.  Other times I see how long it takes them to get frustrated when I ask specifically which car that I own is eligible for their extended warranty, or see if they can tell me even what brand of credit card they think I have, or who told them that I suffer from chronic pain (I don't) or need a fancy knee brace (I don't).
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kphoger

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2019, 10:21:55 PM »

Other times I see how long it takes them to get frustrated when I ask specifically which car that I own is eligible for their extended warranty, or see if they can tell me even what brand of credit card they think I have,

These are my favorite games to play.  I tell them I own two vehicles and I hadn't realized one of them had a warranty about to expire, but that it concerns me and I'd like to rectify that issue.  If only they can tell me which vehicle it is that has its warranty running out, then we'll be in business.  One lady chuckled and said, 'I can't tell you that!'  For the record, I've never owned a vehicle with a warranty, other than a six-month transaxle-only warranty on a car we bought with 147,000 miles on the odometer.

When it's about credit card balance, I pretend to have a slight mental handicap:  pauses, quiet speech, simple words, repeating myself.  Basically, I want to come across as gullible to keep them on the phone, but also difficult to get details from.  When they ask me which credit card has the largest balance, I tell them 'I think it's the blue one,' and then I see where it goes from there.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: What do you do when a scam operation calls you?
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2019, 11:16:03 PM »

I have Nomorobo for my landline, and YouMail for my cell.  With YouMail, it plays an out of service message for the known robocaller.  The worst lately have been these one ring calls that come across as No Caller ID  but leave a message in your voicemail telling you how to make money in what I’m sure is some pyramid or Ponzi scheme.  I’ve had 12 different numbers with this same scheme, and if it weren’t for YouMail, my voicemail box would be full of these.  There was one chimney cleaning company that used to call 3 times a day every day before I had the blocking apps.  I used to pick up and make either a loud puking sound, answer “Fraud Department”, or once I even ad libbed a message telling them they’ve reached a bestiality  dating site.  I went so far as to leave them a 1 Star review on Yelp.
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