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3 Fun Ways to Mess With Phone Scammers

Phone scams are a real problem these days. From asking to access your computer to promising you won the lottery, the naive and over-trusting fall victim to these cons on a yearly basis. But in the event you catch these heathens in the act, realizing the scam for what it is before any damage is done, you have a chance to pull the wool over their eyes. You might occupy their time and protect another innocent victim, or you might just have some devilish fun. Either way, you’re providing a service to society.

The Ignoramus

You know those jokes about the grandpa on the phone with tech support, where he has to be told to plug the machine in and turn it on before any troubleshooting is begun? It’s frustrating for the person on the other end of the line. So channel your inner old timer, and treat everything like it’s the first time you’ve ever heard of it.

Don’t restrict your performance to technology, either. Popular variations of this masterpiece include:

  • Mistaking the caller for the pizza guy
  • Pretending you don’t speak a common language
  • Acting deaf
  • Acquiring temporary ADHD

Be sure to keep from laughing as you hear the exasperation in their voice when the ruse drags on. That might just spoil the fun.

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The Chameleon

Ever wanted to be a comedian? A voice actor? A ventriloquist? Here’s your big break. Pretend you have a visitor, then do your very best to imitate a second voice. Either let the caller listen from a distance, or go for broke and have your “friend” pick up the phone to talk to the interloper. Feel free to partake in the Ignoramus at this point; no sense in having the second person be reasonable. If you can manage, “pass” the phone around through a whole crowd of improvised voices, each one more frustrating than the last.

If you really want to yank their chain, find a realistic gunshot sound effect, then begin an “argument,” ending it with a “bang.” With any luck, the scammer will be fooled into believing they are now the witness to a murder. Awkward…

The Houdini

Ah, old faithful. Simply inform your new buddy that you have some business to tend to, then abandon the phone with the false promise of returning. Double points for leaving the phone somewhere with particularly egregious background noise. Here are some suggestions:

  • Dora the Explorer
  • The most annoying sound in the world
  • Good ol’ Rick Astley

Remember, the longer they’re on the phone, the less time they have to call someone else.

The Cardinal Rule

The most important thing to remember is, once you’ve determined the call to be a scam, don’t be convinced otherwise. Every request or question they present you with should be denied in whatever creative ways you see fit. But never give them what they want. Keep that in mind, and you’ll have more fun than you ever thought possible while on the phone. While not every opportunity is phony, (some legitimate businesses get a bad rep, such as the so-called ACN scam) always remember to do your research and exercise some common sense.