Fifteen ways to amuse yourself when phone spammers call



I seem to get more and more unsolicited phone calls nowadays.  In addition to the regular calls telling me I have a virus or malware on my PC, I’m getting more and more calls I don’t want.

I’m bored with just putting the phone down on the callers.

I want to tie up their lines so that they don’t get the chance to call others and annoy them.

So here are a few of the fibs I have told to occupy their time so that they don’t have chance to call you…


Annoying the logmein scammers:

  • They call from PC support.  I say yes, I’ve been waiting for an engineer to arrive.  When are you going to get here?
  • They call from Microsoft support.  I engage them with a long conversation asking them which organisation or division they work for, whether they are full time employees, or vendors
  • They call from a Microsoft Partner to say I have a virus.  I tell them they have got through to the reception of a large company and ask them which department they want to be connected to.
  • Another call from a Microsoft support organisation.  I let them talk me through the options and then tell them that I can’t find the ‘Start’ button on my iPad
  • Another call.  I tell them I know a damn sight more than them about messages on the PC that tell where there is a problem and then go into Event viewer and start grilling them on the system messages
  • Yet another call.  These guys don’t give up do they?  This time I start talking about the Workstation and Server service which appear not to be working on this machine.

Callers from a call centre, far far away..

  • As the line clicks through, I say: Hello?  Hello?  Hello?  repeatedly for as long as it takes them to realise that I can’t hear them
  • I carry on having a normal conversation – as through I haven’t realise that the phone has connected

Cold calls

  • If it is a call telling me about a government initiative or discount, I grill them on which initiative or discount, and then spend time tapping the keyboard trying to find the initiative online
  • I tell the caller that I already know about the initiative as I work for the department that is organising the scheme
  • I ask for the name of the company calling and the company offering the discount and then spend time searching for the correct spelling of the company online
  • I tell the caller that I’d love to have new white UPVC windows / conservatory / porch, but I’m not sure how it works with a grade I listed building /court judgement / bankruptcy notices etc.


  • I answer yes to each question until they realise I’ve said yes all the way through the conversation
  • I tell them I’m of a completely different age range / home owner status / financial position to the truth

Photographic studio calls:

  • I was asked whether I wanted a cheap family portrait done.  I said I was single with no family.  He suggested that I had my photo taken with a pet.  I told him I had no pets apart from 2 chickens and I didn’t particularly didn’t fancy having my photo taken with either of them.

I could hear him laughing as he put down the phone…

So sometimes my way of getting rid of cold callers isn’t all that bad.  Perhaps I need to get an answering machine and free up some of my time.  Well what do you know, the phone is ringing again.  Which response shall I use today?…  Open-mouthed smile

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Credit: TheGiantVermin

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