Reader fun with tech scammers

I had to share this comment from Myrna with everyone:

“Some of the ways I have responded to the scam phone calls from Microsoft telling me that my computer is sending them signals that something is wrong or I have a virus:

(a) I thank the caller for his/her assistance and pretend to follow instructions. Eventually, the caller asks me, “What does it say on your screen?” Then I reply, “It says S C A M.”

(b) I say that I have been away for a week or two and ask how my computer could be sending signals when I haven’t been at home and it hasn’t been turned on.

(c) Once I asked the caller to wait until I turned on the tracking machine that the police had given me. (I’ve never been hung up on so quickly before!)

(d) Once a call came as a TV program I wanted to watch was starting. I said I would get my laptop and left the phone off the hook. When the 30-minute program was over, I went back to the phone and wondered how long the caller had waited for me before hanging up. (She rang back the next day and said the connection must have dropped out!)

(e) Once I asked the male caller with an Indian accent if he was married. He said, “Yes.” I asked him if he had a family. He said, “Yes.” Then I said, “I know this is a scam. How would you feel if someone tried to do to your family what you are trying to do to others? After a pause he said, “You are right, Madam. I shall leave this job today and return to God.” (A couple of weeks later I had one of those calls where no one answers when you answer. I wondered if it was the usual case where multiple numbers are rung and the first one to answer gets the scam routine and the others are disconnected or, especially because there was a pause before the disconnection, whether it was the same man calling who had not left his job and returned to God but who recognized my voice — American accent here in Australia.)

A few days ago I had a call from someone saying she was from the Do Not Call Register and that they were going to stop the nuisance calls I had been getting. I said, “Oh, thank you very much. Have a good day.” Before I could hang up, she continued talking and then transferred me to her supervisor. He began telling me what I had to do on my computer. I played along for a bit, and eventually, he realised I was doing that. He started yelling at me, “Are you lying to me?” Before I could make some kind of remark about him being allowed to lie to me but not liking it being done to him, he started swearing loudly at me. I hung up when he said, “F..k you.”

Myrna, I like your attitude. Of course, playing around with these jerks is not for everyone, so the less salty amongst us can simply hang up. The most important thing is not to be scared. These creeps say scary things and sometimes can really start to verbally abuse people and bully them into doing foolish things.

While I make it a policy to be somewhat police to people attempting to legitimately sell me things or solicit a donation, I have no problem completely going off on these people. They are criminals. They know they are criminals and they are purposely targeting vulnerable populations with their lies. Keep up the good work!

2 thoughts on “Reader fun with tech scammers

  1. I have caller ID, so it’s easy to know if a call is legitimate. My favorite is “Line One, you’re on the air! What’s your name and where are you calling from?” *click*
    Then there’s the foreign-voiced caller who tells me there’s a problem with Windows. I can do 5 minutes or more on how my contractor has been waiting for them, I ordered them a month ago, I can’t get construction done without them, and where the hell are they anyway?
    Finally there’s the classic “I’m so glad to hear your voice…I’ve been so lonely. Nobody cares about me, if I live or die…” This one usually keeps them on the line for at least 5 minutes because they’re afraid to hang up!

  2. I have caller ID and when I don’t recognize the #, I don’t pick up. Then, I block that call by pressing the star or tone key and dialing 60. From there, after being acknowledged by blocking company, I press the pound key, dial in the number to be blocked, and then hit the pond key again.

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