Some Extra Techniques To String Along Scam Callers

Some Extra Techniques To String Along Scam Callers

When a scammer phones you pretending to have found “a problem with your PC”, it’s a social service to string them along for as long as possible. We recently rounded up techniques for wasting their time; here are some extra additions.

Regular Lifehacker contributor Alex Kidman recently beat his own record and kept a scam caller online for 1 hour and 17 minutes, which deserves praise in and of itself. Some of the extra techniques he used:

  • Claiming his PC had experienced a blue screen of death
  • Claiming 316 updates had to install before he could reboot
  • Pretending to type in web addresses but not understanding you need full stops in them

While you can look up spurious error messages to make your fake tale more credible, Alex offers one other tip: make sure they can’t hear you typing when you’re claiming your computer isn’t working. Hit the link for the full account.

Microsoft Scam Call: Special director’s cut edition [Fat Duck Tech]


  • I really need to start filming or recording my sessions, I have been doing it for my own pleasure.

    Kept “Microsoft” on the phone for 15 mins while pushing buttons on the microwave, took em 4 “managers” to work it out.
    “Is it on?”
    “Yes but the screens black”
    “You need to turn it on”
    “It is on, but I need to key in a time before press start for the screen to light up”
    “Oh, yes click start”

    Another one requires you to open porn on your computer (Yeah, I’m sure I lost you there)
    When they ask you to follow their instructions and tell them what you see, start naming the worst ever porn films you can think of.
    If they don’t hang up on you then ignore their instructions to start over and start mumbling how you forgot you saved all these films and turn the volume up on the porn video.
    “Oooh…..oooh ho, I remember this one….freaking hot”
    “You should see this man…this chick bends like crazy..wait, who am I talking too you guys invented the Kamasutra”

    If you can quickly guess that it’s a telemarketer wait until they say hello, put on your best indian accent and start talking at the same time like your a telemarketer too and you guys just got crossed lines.
    Tell em how many stupid idiots you managed to fool in to your scam and ask them how they are doing.
    (Careful, a lady started speaking the language and caught me out, she wasn’t happy that I didn’t want to get scammed)

    If they say “Hello my name is [English name] from [Local area like Melbourne], reply in your best Aussie accent “Hello, my name is Gumpta from Calcutta” For some weird reason they take offence to this…..freaking ironic.

    If it’s a telco call, claim you don’t have a phone and the connection must be bouncing off your gold tooth.

    If they are from an energy provider claim you don’t use electricity because you built a miniture cold fusion reactor (Has worked so many times I can’t count)

    If they ask you for your specifically, for example “Is Mr X there?”
    Reply, “I hope not, if he knew I was here and what I was doing to his wife he wouldn’t be happy”
    (Hang up every damn time, one lady even screamed at me for some reason…perhaps she found adultery to be morally objectionable?……you know……like trying to scam people)

    • I basically made up fake energy company some years ago, fake letter head an everything the problem was my rates where so stupidly low they couldn’t compete. I used to tell them that’s who I was with. Kind of backfired on me one day when the door knockers got together to explain I was being scammed.

      I ran with it but. How is it a Scam I pay $50 a month and I get electricity and I don’t get bills from anybody else, it must be my Solar Panels. They look up, and tell me they can’t see any solar panels. You need a ladder mate, how can you see the top of the roof from the ground. They go out of their way to look at the roof and then I say they aren’t on this building they are on my other building. It’s in Sydney would you like the Address?

      And yes my fake bill had a fake name and even a fake address on it.

  • Error messages would be good, but having a mechanical keyboard that sounds like you’re pressing down on a potato chip every time doesn’t help searching without being heard,

  • I walked one through the experience of connecting to the internet using Windows 3.1.1. I had to reinstall Winsock first then I fired up netscape but unfortunately I couldn’t access their website! Oh yeah I exclaimed, “We’re using the phone line! I need it for my modem!”

  • I’m sure this is why we have such a bad reputation with Indian call centers as being technologically inept (there was an article about that a few years ago).

    I really should fire up a Virtual Machine when they call next, then when they ask for money to fix it i can thank them for entertaining me for the last hour.

    But i think they might be sick of me abusing them, as i haven’t gotten a call in months.

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