Someone has called you with the intention of cheating you – stealing from you. Fortunately, you realise this and then have to decide what to do about this.
So, what do you do next?
The simple answer is to just put the phone down but it’s very likely they will call back – either immediately or later in the day.
You could politely tell them you know it’s a scam and put the phone down.
However, when you’re polite to the scammers, they don’t give up – they or fellow scammers are likely to keep calling back, trying to wear you down.
Some of us choose to give the caller a mouthful of bad language – shout and swear at them, tell them exactly what you think of someone who phones up trying to steal from vulnerable people. That might make you feel a little better, so why not try it.
Or you could decide to play them at their own game and waste their time.
- “You say my computer is breaking the law and you’re going to help me. Thank you. I’ll just get my glasses” and leave the caller hanging on till they get bored and give up. Any repeat callers – use the same trick till they give up.
- Act excited and really interested. Then tell them to just wait for a minute while you answer the door. Then put your phone down and just forget about it.
- Sell them something imaginary. “How about I give you a great deal; I can send you two boxes of my organic homemade candles for ninety dollars and we both walk away from this as the winner” and just spend the rest of the call dodging their questions and continuing to try to sell whatever you want. Usually they give up after a few minutes, so don’t expect to actually sell anything. If they agree to buy something in order to get your address – give fake details.
- Keep saying “can you hold on a second?” And then put them on hold for five minutes. Get back on, say a few words, let them start talking, then say “oh dear, can you hang on again? Be right back”. Keep repeating till they give up.
- If you tell them you just have to go get your credit card – they will hang on for longer before giving up.
- Jack says he usually just start talking to them about really weird but totally made up personal problems.
- Acting dumb can be fun – ‘I don’t understand’ repeated each time they ask you a question can really drive the caller mad.
Be creative and really waste their time.
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.