People Reveal How They’ve Successfully Stopped Annoying Scam Calls
Have you reached the point where you don’t even answer your phone anymore because nine times out of 10, it’s a scam call? Of course you have. Whether it’s someone calling to clean your air duct, to ask you about your accident, or to tell you you’ve just won a trip to the Bahamas, we’ve all received a phone call like this. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just happen once or twice. It happens 10, 15, sometimes even 20 times a week. It can be hard to battle the barrage of spam calls that you will inevitably receive, so how do you stop them? These people reveal the weird and wonderful things that they’ve said to the scammers on the other end of the phone. The result? No more calls.
#1 New York, America
I got a call from “the social security administration.” I asked for the company’s address and he paused and then said, “New York, America.”
#2 The Dell
I got a call about a virus on my laptop and played along with them for a little. I asked them, “Which laptop has the virus? I have multiple.” The guy paused for a second and said, “The Dell.” My response: “Funny, I don’t have a Dell laptop.” The guy hung up right away and they never called back.
#3 Not Voting for This Guy
I somehow wound up on a call list to be included on a telephone “town hall” for my state senator. I called three local offices demanding to be taken off the list, to no avail, despite promises. I finally filed an FTC complaint with dates and times of incoming calls as well as dates, times, and names of people I spoke to trying to get off the list. Apparently, once you file an FTC complaint about a government official, they take it seriously. The campaign never called back. No, I didn’t vote for him.
#4 I Will Haunt You!
My great-great-aunt (she just celebrated her 100th birthday) is the one who stopped the phone calls. She got a call from someone pretending to be from the IRS and all she said was, “I’m 98 years old. I will haunt you when I die. Leave me alone!” and when I say I’ve never seen my mom so shocked, I mean it. It’s still not as cool as her accidentally pressing her life alert button and not picking up the phone so when the ambulance arrived, she fed them all some fresh cantaloupe as an apology.
#5 Is Linux the Same As Microsoft?
When I can be bothered I like to waste their time. For a Microsoft scammer, I put on the little old lady act, not understanding their instructions and insisting they help me with my problem. When they are at breaking point, I tell them that it says Linux on my computer, is that the same as Microsoft? That finishes them off.
#6 Mommy, Let Me Talk!
Pass the phone to the 3-year-old.
#7 How About You Pay Me?
I’m a web developer. Whenever I get a call from one of those Windows virus scams, I ask for their website to, you know, assure myself that they’re a legit company and everything. I then run their site through SEO and HTML error scanners. Of course, they always come up with loads of errors and so I offer them my services to help fix them… for a price, of course.
#8 Ramble Ramble
The thing that gets them is wasting their time. They are getting paid to make calls so the longer you keep them on the better. One thing I like to do is start a rambling story that goes nowhere, like how Grampa Simpson does on The Simpsons. You know: “Survey? Yes, I’ve taken some surveys in my time, why, I even worked on one. Now I think it was in ’06, or was it ’07? No, it must have been ’06 because that was the Winter I crashed my Buick. God, I miss that old car! It was such a beautiful shade of green, like the jungle. Now, I’ve been to the jungle and BOY do they have mosquitoes…”
#9 Hi, This Is The FBI
“Hello! Federal Bureau of Investigation, Telemarketing Fraud Department, how may I help you?” Click
#10 Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts
One Sunday morning a few years ago, I was awake with my father and chatting over coffee and such, as we would often do. We got another marketing call we had been periodically getting, from ‘Dave’s Carpet Cleaners’. We would always just ignore it and hang up. On this morning though, as we were chatting, within a period of about 15 minutes, we received the same call from the same source NINE times!!!
This was about 7:45 a.m. to 8 a.m. on a SUNDAY. I think we can all agree that Sundays are not the day for such things. Finally, when the anticipated 9th call came in, at my urging, my father agreed to do something. This call was basically just a recording of ‘Dave’ introducing himself and his company and services, and telling the person on the other end to press one to speak to a representative to set up an appointment.
My father went through the motions to speak to a representative, and when he got through to an actual person, as she said something to the effect of “Hello, are you having a nice day?” My father snapped back, saying, “No, I am not!! This is the 9th call we have got from you in the last 15 minutes, ON A SUNDAY! Let me speak to your supervisor!” He got the supervisor and said basically the same thing, telling them that we were looking to have our carpets cleaned (a lie), but would never hire them and tell everyone we knew not to hire them. We never received a call from Dave’s Carpet Cleaners ever again.
#11 Sorry, They’re in Heaven
If it’s a human on the line, I tell them that the person they’re looking for had just passed away.
#12 That’ll Stop Them
I had this problem for a month on a landline before I could figure out how to block it. The guy was harassing me and constantly calling me back just so that he could access my computer. It got to the point that he would call back right after I hung up. I finally looked up how to block a number on a landline in the phone book, bought a safety whistle, then blew the whistle down the phone before blocking the number.
#13 Screaming Rage
I always answer scam calls and try to get to a person. Then I talk really softly so they turn up their headset. After a while, I scream the highest pitch scream I can or play any video on YouTube titled “high pitched noise”.
#14 Unwelcome Answer
I screamed for a solid 30 seconds.
#15 Detective So and So
I usually answer the phone as a detective and then ask them who they are and why they called my number in a very stern and cop-like manner. Then, I ask them where they are and act like I am giving the information to someone else who is contacting Interpol. I ask a few more questions about their relationship to the number and advise anyone who has not already hung up, that they are to stay put and wait for Interpol to arrive for interrogations. Stopped calls to my classroom.
#16 I Don’t consent
Whenever they intro with, “This is so and so on a recorded line..” I always politely say, “I do not consent to being recorded or monitored.” It’s always fun how flustered they get and they’re not sure of what to do. They usually hang up and don’t call back again. I don’t even know if they need my consent to record me, but it seems to work.
#17 How You Doin’?
I always hit the button to speak with a person or get more info, or sometimes they call with a live person to begin with. I put on a low voice and say, “Hey baby, how you doin?” They usually hang up immediately. If not, my next response to whatever they say is, “That sounds really hot. What are you wearing?” Pretty close to 100 percent of them hang up and don’t call back.
#18 Hello, You’ve Called the Pentagon
About once or twice a week, I would get the “Microsoft Support” phone call. For about three weeks, I would hang up on them. After about a month of this, I decided to jack with them. I let them give their line about how my computer is sending them errors, blah, blah, blah, blah. I kept responding with, “Tnteresting,” and “Okay, Fascinating.” When they said that they wanted to connect to my computer, I told them that this would be difficult. When they asked why, I told them that they called the server room for the Pentagon. I do not think I have ever heard anyone hang up more quickly.
#19 Bill’s Orphanage
I always just say, “Bill’s Orphanage, you make ’em we take ’em.” They usually don’t call back after that.
#20 Never Mess with a Bored Old Man
My grandfather got fed up with telemarketers one time in the late ’90s. His response? He stayed on the phone with the guy for over an hour acting super interested in his sales pitch. He had them so convinced that THEY ACTUALLY SENT A SALES REPRESENTATIVE TO OUR HOUSE. Gramps then proceeded to string this poor guy along for another few hours while he sat there constantly changing the conversation. Then, once the guy finally thought they had come to some sort of business agreement, he flat-out admitted that he was never actually interested and told the guy to leave the property. Never mess with a bored old man with a lot of time on his hands.
#21 Play Dumb
Just play dumb and eat up their time. They are playing a numbers game and don’t want to spend 30 minutes with someone that gives them nothing. In those 30 minutes, they would rather get shot down 20 times and maybe find that old lady they can trick.
Answer the phone with, “Ghostbusters! Whaddaya want?” and get increasingly exasperated when they don’t have a legitimate paranormal issue. It helps if you loudly snack on gum at the same time.
#23 My Friend!
I tried to troll a guy who was clearly calling people to get their bank account information by saying they were giving away money to help college students. He was dedicated to his job. I tried to anger him for about 30 minutes but he kept interrupting me. I eventually told him to stop messing with me and hung up the phone. He kept cutting me off saying, “But MY FRIEND…MY FRIEND!”
#24 What Do You Want to Order, Sir?
I’ll usually say something like, “Hello there! You are speaking with a sales representative from Pleasure.com. What kind of [insert inappropriate product here] do you want to order?” But I usually really scream it at them, so that everyone else in their vicinity can here. It always works for me.
#25 You’re Calling the Wrong Number
I told them that I was a member of their branch, was sitting a floor above them, and that they misdialed. They said “Screw you” and hung up. I didn’t get a call back from them for a few months.
#26 Is That Too Personal?
I got a call and they started reading off this massive script. They finished after two minutes of solid talking, and I politely sat through the whole thing. Then, I paused and said, “… Sorry?” She started the whole script again from the start. Another two minutes later, I said “… Sorry?” This time, there was a bit of frustration in her voice, and once again she did the whole two minutes, aggressively this time. I said, “… Sorry?” She hung up.
#28 Make It Up
I used to get a lot of unsolicited calls from a company who could ‘sort my debt’. I got a call from them one day when I wasn’t doing much at home, so I decided to have some fun. I gave a false name and false address. I then went through my ‘debts’ meticulously and had them waiting while I ‘found the paperwork’. About 40 minutes later, I had over $300,000 debt and was able to pay up to $4,000 per month to clear it with them.
The woman on the phone got her boss (because it was such a big contract), and when the boss got on the phone, I told her I made it all up. I kid you not, she told me I was wasting their time! And that I shouldn’t do that—then hung up on me. Never heard from them again.
#29 Waste Their Time
Answer the phone. Connect to an agent, mute your phone, and carry on with what you were doing. They quickly take you off their diallers when you waste their agents time.
#30 Yes, That’s My Car
I’m sure another scammer will call again since it’s just an act that all of them do, but I got a social security scam call. They told me they had found 22 pounds of drugs in a Toyota Camry. They always say that exact line. I responded: “Oh my god that’s terrible!” They respond with, “So are you telling me that this was not you who left the car there?” And I say, “No that was me, but I had 30 pounds of drugs in that car. Are you telling me that eight pounds just went missing?” So he was very confused and I was accusing him of stealing it, then he started swearing at me until he hung up.
#31 Привет, Señor
My friend speaks English, Spanish, and Russian. He would just start switching randomly between languages and each language had a different personality. He would confuse them into total submission. They rarely called back.
#32 Yes, I Gave Geese
I got a call from the ‘duct cleaning’ people. I told them that I don’t have ducts, I have geese… Get it? They just hung up on me and haven’t bothered me since.
#33 2017 Little Tikes Tricycle
I would receive a specific call nine times out of 10, “Your car warranty is about to expire. Press one if you’d like to be connected to a representative.” So I would oblige, wait for someone to come on the line and say, “Make, Model and Year of your vehicle,” to which I usually followed up with “2013 Hasbro ATV or 2017 Little Tikes Tricycle” or something of that nature. I must have become a famous caller because they only called maybe six times after I started doing that and they always started with, “Oh, look who it is.” Eventually, it just stopped. I assume it’s because they were tired of wasting their time on someone who was wasting their time.
#34 Mom? Phone!
Once a telemarketer asked to talk to my mom who had passed away a couple of months earlier. I said, “Sure, hang on. MOM?! PHONE!” then I said to the poor guy, “No wait, she passed away. Thanks for reminding me!” He apologized and hung up really fast… I didn’t really get any more phone calls after that.
#35 River Computer
I got a call that there was a virus on my computer and told them that was impossible, I threw my computer into the river so that the cops couldn’t get any evidence. Haven’t heard from them since.
#36 Here’s My Technical Person
My wife says, “I’ll just pass you onto my technical person” and hands me the phone. The last time this happened, I kept a guy on the line for about five minutes, playing dumb trying to find the start menu. After a while, I let him off the hook and told him my computer was a Mac and he dropped the call.
#37 Sneaky Grandma
A Microsoft scammer said one of my grandmother’s computers was infected with a virus, so she decided to have some fun. She expressed EXTREME concern and alarm and kept them going for 45 minutes before telling them she didn’t own any computers! The caller used some very creative expletives to express his anger. We still have a good laugh about this every Christmas.
#38 Sorry, I’m Being Investigated for Fraud
I usually say, “I’m currently being investigated for XYZ fraud.” I say I’m being investigated for whatever their selling. Insurance fraud. Credit card fraud. You name it, there’s a fraud for it.
#39 This Is a Secure Line
Caller: “Hello! We’d like to offer you a free trip to Las Vegas…”
Me: “Sir. Are you aware that you just called the emergency line of a Department of Energy Research Facility?”
Caller: “Um, ah, I…”
Me: “We need to keep this line clear. You will add us to your do not call list. If I receive another call from your company I will report this upstairs.” Click.
#40 Steam Roller
My go-to: “My accident? Yes, I had one last month… I was driving along a country lane and it was a nice day. There was no wind or clouds, and another vehicle pulled out from a side road without looking. He hit the front of my car! Yes, a total write-off. I went to the hospital, I broke my nose and my arm. The other driver apologized and said it was their fault.” When they ask what the other vehicle was, I tell them it was a very big, very green steam roller. I try and string it out for as long as possible, before getting to the big reveal!
#41 A Free Trip to the Bahamas
I got a call from one of those “You’ve been selected for a free trip to the Bahamas” scammers. I told her that I couldn’t go right now and she said, “Oh no sir, you don’t understand, it’s free. You just need to…” I cut her off before she could respond with, “No no, I understand that ma’am, it’s just, I’m currently under Federal investigation and cannot leave the country…” Click.
#42 He Is Covered!
Not me, but my grandma. After my grandpa died, she started getting phone calls in the evening from an insurance agent trying to sell her insurance for her husband. She’s very polite, but she always says “no thank you,” before she hangs up the phone. This went on for almost a week. My grandma was really beside herself about these calls, and she told my mom how upset she was with this man.
One evening, I guess the guy was really impatient with her, and before my grandma could say “no thank you,” the agent asked her, “But ma’am, you need your husband to be covered! Don’t you care if he’s covered?” To which she promptly replied, “He is covered! With six feet of dirt! Is that enough coverage for you?” The man hung up on her and didn’t call again. My grandma really was a nice lady, and she was embarrassed that she lost her temper with that guy.
#43 Where’s My Pen?
I got a call from the “IRS” and I immediately suspected it was a scam, so I started acting really dumb and asked the guy to repeat himself over and over. Then, I pretended to have trouble finding a pen for several minutes while he waited for me to write a “case number” down. He eventually hung up on me out of frustration.
#44 My Bicycle!
I took a call from the “I hear you’ve had an accident that wasn’t your fault” guys that I get about once a week. It was automated at first, but as soon as I said yes I got put through to someone. I spent 20 minutes explaining how someone reared into my lane and crashed into me and it wasn’t my fault. At the end when they asked for the details of the damage, I explained that they bent the handlebars a bit but the bicycle was mostly okay. They hung up on me and I haven’t back from them for about a month.
#45 A Taste of Their Own Medicine
I acted interested so I could get a real person on the other end. I told them, “I’m very interested in the product you are offering but unfortunately, I’m a bit busy at the moment. Could I have your personal cellphone number so that I can connect with you later tonight?” The lady replied, “Sir, I don’t feel comfortable giving out my personal cellphone number.” I replied, “Oh, you don’t want to be connected by someone you don’t know on your personal cellphone?” She then hung up and never called back.