Here at Lifehacker we've long maintained that scammers pretending to be from Microsoft/Telstra/Optus/Apple are pond scum, and that it's a public service to keep them on the phone as long as possible to stop them from actually getting through to someone who might fall for their malware-installing ways. Annoyingly, it seems some of those charlatans are now alive to that tactic.
Phones picture from Shutterstock
I was visiting friends over the weekend when a con merchant phoned up (at 8:45PM -- not a good idea in terms of plausibility) claiming to be from Telstra. My friend strung the caller along, claiming to be switching on their machine, following the highly dubious instructions, pausing because of something on the stove, and so on. But then there was a new twist:
Can you press the Control key please?
I'm doing that.
Can you tell me what key is next to it?
My friend doesn't have the keyboard memorised, so when she paused trying to come up with a plausible answer, the scammer hung up. Damn. That does make it harder to waste the time of these appalling ratbags. On the upside, if it's worth training the cons to try and avoid those stalling tactics, a lot of people must be stringing them along now. Keep it up folks!