47 thoughts on “June 25, 2016

  1. I know this sounds terrible, but when I get this type of phone call I tend to mess with the guys as long as possible to where they usually hang up on me. ;P

    • One time I got a callback number and harassed them for three hours. Called them back at random times and yelled at the guy. I lost interest after that, but if they call again…

    • I don’t consider it terrible. Ordinary telemarketers are doing a horrible job that they probably hate, but these people are criminals and deserve whatever they get. The last time one called, I told him I was his old pal Subramanya from rabbinical school, and didn’t he recognize me? I reminded him of the time we put the tip jar on the mohel’s desk, and asked him why his temple fired him. All the time he was trying to get me to log in to my computer. He ended up getting mad and calling me a m*****f****r. I kept laughing until he hung up.

      • I had one guy called me right back 4 times in a row after I hung up on him. I’m planning on buying a safety whistle for the next time someone’s dumb enough to try that again.

    • Me too. And I know enough about computers to string them along for a very long time.

      And oh yeah, I use a Mac. That alone is good for confusing most of them for at least 5 minutes.

      My wife thinks I’m wasting my time at this. My philosophy is that if I keep them busy wasting their time with me, they can’t spend that time cheating an honest but ignorant person.

  2. I especially like when they claim to be from the “Windows Corporation.” But “Technical Department of your computer” is good, too.

    • When they call me they don’t even say “Windows Corporation” they claim to be from “The Windows.”

      One example of a conversation I had with them (because I was bored and felt like playing along):

      Scammer: I am calling from The Windows, regarding a problem from with your computer.
      Me: I’m sorry, your must be misinformed, I don’t use Windows.
      Scammer: Oh, yes, I see that now sir. Sorry, I meant to say Apple-Mac.
      Me: No, I don’t use Apple either. I use a Linux-based system.
      Scammer: Sir, according to my records, Linux is not a real operating system. You must use either Apple or Windows and there is a very seriou-
      *click as I hang up*

  3. Well, Dell actually allowed all my info to leak (as well as other Dell customers) so the ones I receive actually tell me all my correct information and then want remote access to my computer (to presumably lock it and hold for ransom). Dell of course does nothing to prevent it.

  4. In Canada, the scam right now is someone pretending to represent the Canada Revenue Agency. They claim that you owe back taxes and there is a warrant out for your arrest unless you fork over X amount of cash. It’s really pathetic and obvious, but God help anyone who might be elderly or confused.

    • Also, Citizenship, Refugees and Immigration Canada personnel are being similarly impersonated according to notes posted at the local Metro grocery store.

      Given the probable targets of this specific scam, I’d want this warning translated into as many languages as possible. The reason for that: not all the intended victims of such scams will be fluent in English or French yet.

    • Yeah, they’re doing the same in the US, claiming to be the IRS. My mom got several calls from them. As she’s a former accountant, she knows the rules and is too savvy to fall for that, but she was worried for her friends, so she’s told them about it as well.

    • I got one recently, and there are so many red flags in it that I was amazed that anyone could fall for it. But after I hung up I realised that my heart was racing, because what if it was legit? They don’t have to do a good job, because a lot of people are really nervous about the topic to begin with. (Or, as my mother-in-law pointed out, if they are from a country where that sort of shakedown does happen semi-officially.)

      • Some of the red flags are deliberate. They need someone dumb enough to send the money. Fooling someone who will catch on before sending money wastes that criminal’s time.

      • The advice given by many is that the IRS will inform you by mail (hard proof they contacted you) about the problem. Phone calls aren’t quite as reliable.

    • We do sometimes. Or ask them “What’s a computer? No, i’ve never heard of those?” lol. They call every week, sometimes more, so now we just play with them. Any time they spend with us is time they’re not calling others.

      • I went the opposite direction once:
        “Which computer in my network? Do you have its MAC address?”
        “Sorry, this call is not for you.”

        My wife is far more polite than I am:
        “We don’t use Windows, we use Ubuntu, but thank you for your concern.”

        Someday when I’m feeling whimsical:
        “Computer? Does this have something to do with that Internet thing my son spends all his time playing with? All right, let me turn on the computer….It’s asking for a password–what’s the password? You don’t know? Why not? Well what do you think it is? [after a while] You want a credit card number? I don’t know…it’s my son’s computer and I really don’t like him very much. I don’t think he’s really mine. Do you have any children? Oh, what are their names?
        (Note: we don’t have any children, in case you were worried…)

    • My parents got that call once and they don’t use computers at all. My mother somehow thought they were trying to send her a computer and told them she wasn’t interested, she doesn’t use computers.

  5. I once strung one of those boys along so far that when he figured out that I’d been deliberately wasting his time for over 45 minutes he got really angry and threatened to come and, I quote, shoot me in the head. I pointed out that he’d have a problem doing that from India, and that in addition I was recording the call and that he’d just made a terroristic threat and the FBI would be quite interested in him. About there he hung up. I haven’t had one of those calls since. Before that I’d had at least a half dozen over the course of about two months.

    pity. i’d enjoyed playing with those guys.

  6. When I was a teenager we’d get a bunch of obscene phone calls and I’d always give them some kind of religious message. They’d hang up on me.

  7. Don’t you love Caller ID? We don’t even answer calls from numbers we don’t recognize.

    Unfortunately, store phones are not yet equipped with Caller ID, so calls like this get picked up. And, I hope, quickly put down again.

    • The problem is when you’re new to an area and so you don’t have your contacts list populated yet. Luckily for me, I haven’t changed to a local number for my phone since we moved here, so I know that calls that come from the same state as my number are most likely scams, and I let them go to voicemail. When I *do* get a voicemail from those calls (instead of them hanging up before the voicemail can start recording), the message is always silence.

      But I hate the robodialers because you can’t mess with them as much, and you have to sit through the whole spiel in the hopes that you might get a live person at the end and that they won’t hang up on you before you finish telling them to take you off their calling list.

      • Not to mention the ones that pretend to be real humans. They’re even programmed to say something like “yes, I am a human but I use a computer to communicate with you.” What they’re not prepared for is “please recite Pi to as many digits as you can.” That always confuses them.

      • I screen all calls, been doing that for years. Lately, I’ve added the “number not in service” tones to the start of the outgoing message. Saw that suggested on-line as something that stops some robodialers. It confuses some legit callers, but I do seem to get less “hang up” calls.

  8. I do love caller ID. And I use it to ignore calls all of the time. But about a year ago I was home and up at about 5:30 am when I got a call from a blocked number. Now normally I would ignore it but my husband works for the state and any time he calls me from a state phone number it shows blocked on my phone and it was about the time he would get into work. So I answered and got one of those “you have a virus on your computer” calls. I was so angry both at the type of call and the time they called that I just started yelling at the guy. I told him I knew he was lying and that this was a scam. I told him to stop lying and scamming people and then I hung up. I regretted not trying to get more info about his company like a phone number and where he was located but I was too tired and angry to think about that. Next time though . . .

  9. And she can use the Nigerian Prince money to pay off the IRS so they don’t file a lawsuit.

    The phone scammers are out in droves lately, I guess their funds are running law and they’re looking for some poor saps to replenish.

  10. The Canadian Revenue Service just sent me an e-mail saying they owe me 326 Euros, I just need to give them my banking info.

    Me thinks this is a scam, LOL.

    I despise these people. They prey on vulnerable people. There is also the grandparent scam going around, where someone calls an elderly person and tries to pass for a grandchild needing money urgently.

    • Why is the Canadian Revenue Service dealing in Euros?

      As for the grandparent scam, it’s just a different take on one virus/scam e-mail that went around for a while spoofing a friend or family member’s address and claiming to be on a trip abroad and just mugged for all their cash and passport. I got one of those claiming to be my sister.

      • I got an e-mail like that about two months ago. It claimed to be from my sister, saying she was traveling in Italy, got mugged, and needed 800 dollars to get home.

        Quite curious, considering my sister was in my house with me when I received the e-mail…

  11. I got one of these just after I moved. I informed him that my computer was still dismantled, with parts in separate boxes and that our internet connection wasn’t even set up yet, so how the hell was he getting the message about a virus?

    It was hysterical to hear the awkward pause. Then he hung up.

  12. Gotta love the scammers. We are in the targeted age range, so used to get a fair number of these calls. I would occasionally play with them until I got bored or they got frustrated and hung up. Now we have nomorobo, which does a very good job filtering them out. It also filters out my sister-in-law, who uses Skype for all her calls…
    My favorite scam, though, was an email scam, where my sister’s email had been hacked and we all got messages that she was somewhere out of the country (forget where) and in jail and needed help making bail. We had a good time with that one.

    • My FIL’s secretary got her e-mail hacked, and there was discussion as to what the replies should say

      “Again? You’re on your own this time!”

      “But… if you’re there, who’s here at the desk next to mine?”

  13. I’m from Australia, and a new phone scam that I have encountered recently revolves around the scammer fishing for information regarding an “accident that you were involved in in the last three years” and would then offer you assistance in claiming compensation. The scammer is after any sort of personal information, and bank details. I told mine to, ummmm, go away.

  14. For awhile I kept getting calls telling me I had had bladder surgery and was eligible for compensation. When I said I hadn’t had surgery they argued with me. Once they called and I couldn’t tell who they were asking for and I told them they had the wrong number. Then the guy started yelling at me and hung up when I said “Why are you arguing with me?!”

  15. I can’t remember the site name, but I came across a site a few years back where a guy would turn things around and scam the scammers. He’d make them waste valuable time and money thinking they were gonna get money out of him. Sometimes the people he made up “died”, got lost, had an emergency that caused them to miss the deadline for sending the money, other times after stringing them along he’d flat out tell them he knew they were a scammer and he was done dealing with them.

  16. One way to waste their time without wasting yours, is to say something like “Okay, let me get upstairs to my computer and you can talk me through it”, and then put them on hold……and leave them there. Forever.

    • Yeah, I’m going to have to try that next time I get one of those calls. I can just say “I’ll transfer you to the appropriate person.” Then I’ll hit the hold button and just wait for them to hang up. To mess with them even more I can pick the line back up and place them back on hold every couple of minutes so they can keep thinking they’ll get to a person soon.

  17. I get calls from scammers like this from time to time, and it almost always is a person with a thick Indian accent, with the most generic, American sounding name ever. I got a call from one of these scammers about two weeks ago, and the convo went as follows:

    Scammer: (Thick Indian accent) Yes, hallo, this is Tom Smith from Windows Security Corporation, I am calling you to inform you that you have viruses on your computer…

    Me: Can I just stop you right there? You know damn well your name isn’t Tom Smith,….tell me your actual name Sir….

    Scammer: (After about a 10 second pause) Ok sir, have a good day…..*click*

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