I Annoyed This Phone Scammer (Warning on the language)

in Phone Scammers

This is hilarious, but maddening at the same time.

Listen to this brief call with a guy trying to pull a computer scam on me. I love getting these calls since I get great joy out of screwing with them. This guy obviously is not cut out for this type of work as you’ll see. Out of all the calls I’ve played over the years, this might be the funniest because of the way it ends.

It’s also maddening that this crap is still going on. Obviously, some people must be falling for it, since they still do it. Some are quite clever and sophisticated in their tactics, as outlined in this article. (Although this call doesn’t fit into that category.)

It’s maddening because every one of these calls contaminates the waters we all work in. Anyone who has been burned by a scam call becomes slightly more skeptical when they receive their next call from someone they don’t know. Which could be you.

My approach is to play along with these sleazebags. Ask questions. See how far you can go with them without actually giving them personal information, and certainly not any financial or payment info. Waste their time.  (It could be argued you are wasting yours. Personally, I look at is my entertainment time.) Piss them off. Lead them on to think they have a deal. If possible, see if you can earn enough trust to get a phone number to call them back or have them email you something. There are ways to track down these idiots. I’ve had the email accounts of scammers closed down by contacting their provider and informing them of what’s going on.

These low-lifes are criminals. And they are indirectly affecting your ability to have more success in your profession.

What are your thoughts?

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Corey February 2, 2017 at 10:32 am

You brought a smile to my face yet again Art. I love leading these scammers on and wasting their criminal efforts. The first one of these calls I got was priceless, ending with the scumbag spouting all kinds of profane things at me in frustration, but I didn’t think of recording it till it was too late.

Appreciate the perspective, too, that this is making our job harder who actually bring value when we reach prospects on the phone.

keep it up!

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 11:08 am

Thanks Corey. Yes, on the flip side, we need to be diligent about ensuring we bring value with every call.

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Bob Schaumann February 2, 2017 at 10:34 am

I get these calls all the time — I do one of two things to mess with them. After giving them some time to explain what is “wrong” with my computer, I tell them that I am a professor of computer science at the local university (I do teach… but business courses). They hang up.

OR…. I give them a minute to wax eloquent about my computer “problems” and then press three or four numbers on the phone keypad. (Beep-bop-bip-bib) and, using my very best radio voice, announce, “This is the Assistant Attorney General’s office, State of New Hampshire…”

This is followed by an immediate *click* (dial tone…..)

This latter approach also works well with “Credit Card Services” and those who call because I may have “credit card debt.”

Art, this is my entertainment time, too — a nice respite from the daily grind as I mess with the scammers.

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 11:08 am

That’s creative Bob, I like it!

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Kevin Clouser February 2, 2017 at 10:43 am

This guy called me too. I had him on the phone for about 5 minutes and finally asked him if he would like my credit card number now, or would he prefer to steal it later. I also like to put them on speaker and share the conversation. Glad to know others find these idiots a good source of entertainment!

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 11:09 am

I bet that disrupts them from their script! HA

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Mary Jo Knueppel February 2, 2017 at 10:49 am

Art,
Thank you for providing our office a reason for a belly laugh today.

What we found most amusing was you were simply responding to his questions, and he lost it. Yes, he is obviously not cut out for this kind of sales. Or any if this is any indication. I’ve done something similar and managed to stay on the phone with the call center for about 30 minutes. When I finally said “Ok, it’s time to go to the last page of your script and say “thank you for your time.” now” the response was more polite but similar.

Thanks for the laughter!
Mary Jo

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 11:10 am

My pleasure. I wonder what he does if someone gets belligerent with him? His head must explode.

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Corday February 2, 2017 at 10:55 am

He got upset quite fast. You didn’t say anything that would deserve the f… word. Apart from the fact that he’s trying to con you, he sounds really like the worst salesman ever. I liked the way you rephrase his questions. “do you receive spam email? – No, I don’t send spam email” I think this technique can actually be useful in negotiations…

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 11:12 am

Funny, wasn’t it, that he was using words inappropriately, mispronouncing them, he was difficult to understand… and he got upset with me!

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Dave Hohl February 2, 2017 at 11:32 am

I’ve been getting your newsletter for years. Love ’em, thanks!
I think I got a call from this same guy! At least his voice and command of the language was the same. I told him what I usually say to these guys: “How could that be, I don’t have a computer?” (or to others, “I don’t have ” an air conditioner, use electric, etc.), which usually gets the call cut off. In the past, I did play along as you suggest, to the delight of my wife who was listening on the speaker. I’m definitely going to take your advice for the next time (probably yet today…). Wasting the scammer’s time is the best thing to do so they have less time to bother/scam someone else. Thanks again,

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Nothing better than a frustrated scammer. 😉

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Chris February 2, 2017 at 12:31 pm

I get these calls about once a month. They often say that they’re from the Windows Service Center and use more or less the same story as I heard on your recording. The vast majority of them (perhaps even all) are calling from call centers in India. What I do is imitate their Indian accent and repeat over and over “I don’t want to go to Mumbai, I want to go to Bombay” – the call often finishes much like yours, Art!

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I hope I get that one. I’ll reply, “Windows Service Center! I’m glad you called. I AM in the market for windows. The entire house. How soon can you be here?”

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Peter February 2, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Great! I’ve received a few of these calls and just hung up on them but you’ve given me some great ideas to screw with them. I might as well have some fun too. Thanks.

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Let us know… we all can share some ideas.

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Pat February 2, 2017 at 3:04 pm

I’m with you 100% Art.

It’s amazing how many Indian accented people have the name Bruce.

I’ve been getting these calls in Australia for years & love it when they call.

In fact, I feel excited when the calls come in & it’s my duty is to waste their time as much as possible.

By keeping these criminals on the phone for up to 20 minutes I reduce their scam time by 20 minutes while having fun- how good is that?

Thanks Art, keep up the great work.

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Their managers are probably happy with their talk time but not their results. Let’s keep that going.

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Aaron February 2, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Thank you for this, Art (and others leaving comments). I like to play along with these scammers for a little while, then ask “does your mother know you’re doing this?” They’ll usually pause while trying to process what I asked, I repeat, then they usually just hang up.

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Art Sobczak February 2, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Given the language of the guy who called me, I’m sure they would have some choice words about our mothers 😉

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John Van Epps February 2, 2017 at 7:06 pm

Loved it! You definitely haven’t lost your sense of humor since moving to Phoenix! Sometimes, if I don’t recognize the number, I’ll say “KKLM – you’re on the air!” They usually hang up quickly…

Otherwise, I string them along, and finally tell them I don’t have Windows, I run Linux (which they can’t penetrate, anyway).

Life is good if you let it be!
JVE

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Bruce February 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm

My wife has a plastic refs whistle near our main phone and once she realises that she’s got a scammer on the line gives him a very loud and shrill blast down the line and then cuts the contact. His ears must be ringing for some time.

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Lori-Jo February 9, 2017 at 7:35 am

My folks have had 2 scammers in the last year telling them to get a certified check of
$ 3000 to cover taxes and send to an address so they can collect their $ 250,000 publisher’s clearing house reward. I got to play with one pretending to be my mother and being all confused and mixed up about where to pick up the check, how to mail it, laughing, saying I had to go to the bathroom and call later to remind me. The 2nd time my 87 year old mother did the same thing and had fun messing with the caller. She took down all the phone numbers and addresses and again, we turned them over to the police.
It is so annoying when they attack senior citizens…

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