For a scammer time is their biggest asset, so wasting their time really annoys them.
The simple approach is to listen then say something like
“Oh, just got to turn the cooker off – back in a minute”
Or “There’s someone at the door – hold on”
Or “Hold on – just got to get something”
Or anything similar
Then leave them hanging on.
You can prolong this by going back to the call for a minute then excusing yourself again for another long break while the scammer waits and waits. They do give up and put the phone down to move on to the next target.
But to really have fun at their expense, requires a little more imagination.
e.g. 1. Jack says “A scammer called claiming to be from Microsoft Support and wanting to help me sort out problems with my computer.
I agreed and let him talk through what to do but I was using my toaster rather than my computer”.
“So, now you can go to your browser”
“Browser, that’s the icon you click to access the Internet”
“OK. I’ve got a green light and a red light – is it one of them?”
“Can you move the mouse down to the bottom of the screen?”
“I don’t have any mice in my home – it’s very clean”
And so on till the dummy realised he was being taken for a ride.
e.g. 2. Bill says “I like to try to sell them something e.g. I’m glad you called cause today is your lucky day. I have a new delivery of tooth fairies and I can do a great deal with you. These are authentic, organic, low carbon tooth fairies and usually retail at 90 dollars each but today only I can get you two boxes – that’s 24 at just $14 each.
That gets them off their stupid script and confused for what to say.
e.g. 3 Jay says “I find a big enough distraction confuses them e.g. tell them you just won millions on the lottery and you’ve trying to figure out whether to leave home or go overseas”
They often break from their practiced script and start talking like a real human and ask me what I am going to do with the money.
e.g. 4. Lipu says I had one of those “your computer has a virus! scammers call me when I was driving home one time – so I kept him on the phone for the hour long drive. I kept saying I was opening the wrong folder or couldn’t find the file and then was confused about the virus and just made-up anything I could think of and started complaining about how slow the computer was.
The guy got really frustrated and clearly wanted to end the call. Finally, when I pulled into my driveway I told him – Alright, I’m home now so thanks for the entertainment. Don’t call again.”
e.g. 5. Jim said he kept getting calls from computer scammers that want to install new security for my new computer. I keep them busy for a while and ask about what computer they are talking about as I claim to have 14 which keeps them busy for a while. When she asked for my credit card to pay for the security update I give them a random number with the right number of digits and of course when they try to take payment it fails and I blame them for typing it in wrongly.
Keep ‘em frustrated and never give them any genuine information about yourself.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.