Just lost my temper with a tech support scam caller


Hi all,

So my day didn’t even start out that great to begin with, since my car wouldn’t start and I had to have it towed to my mechanic. But about 45 minutes ago I got a call from a scammer, and I really lost my patience. Usually when they call I just say, “I know this is a scam, stop calling,” and hang up, but this time I decided to chew the guy out. Since he was smart enough to corner me with logic — he asked me how I knew this was a scam — I just retorted with the same logic, saying, hey, maybe unicorns are real? I’ve never seen one, but you can’t know about that which you don’t see, correct? Anyway, I kept telling him how good and clever the guy was (my voice getting louder and louder), and said, yeah, yeah, my computer has problems, sure it does. The icing on the cake was toward the end of the call when he launched his last salvo: He claimed he had my PIN. I said, sure you do. Stop calling. And hung up.

Sheesh … ya know, I’m normally a mild-mannered person, and I was a little shocked afterward that I reacted that way. But you can only take so much, you know what I mean?

Be on the lookout fellas, these guys are out there.

Comments (40)

40 responses to “Just lost my temper with a tech support scam caller”

  1. lvthunder

    I just hang up on them. Scammers don't create do not call lists so it doesn't matter if you tell them not to call again.

  2. TheJoeFin

    The big phone companies are rolling out a system to identify callers and trace the origin of calls. It is called STIR/SHAKEN and it should be rolling out in the next year or so:


  3. maktaba

    Almost all of these scammers claim to be from Microsoft. There should be warning messages from time to time in Windows itself telling users to be wary of such calls. Now that would be much more useful than emojis, etc.

  4. Daekar

    I have a friend who kept a scammer on the phone for like 30 minutes while presenting to be super-depressed. He ended the call by saying, "Oh my God, I just can't take it anymore!" setting off a firecracker, and dropping the phone.

    He doesn't have scammer problems now, for some reason.

  5. jimchamplin

    Learn some good Hindi insults and really piss them off. Figure out how to take control of their TeamViewer session and install destructive malware on their system. Wreck their shit and ruin their day. Cost them money and time.

    Hurt them. Hurt them and take joy in the hurting. You're not hurting human beings. You're hurting garbage that deserves pain.

  6. TrevorL

    One time my son-in-law who works for Microsoft was staying with us. A Microsoft scammer called and I said "Hang on, I have a Microsoft Engineer here now. I'll put him on the line." They hung up quick smart.

  7. waethorn

    Get them pissed off enough to make death threats to you (it's not that hard), and then file a police report.

  8. Winner

    I use Google's call screening on my Pixel. They always hang up. It gives me a certain satisfaction that I wasted a bit of their time and never spoke with them.

  9. JimP

    Do you think it's possible that some of them don't even realize it's a scam? That they're just reading a script?

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to JimP:

      I don't think they're that dumb. Once I was in a job interview and they started going on describing what we were doing and I walked out.... they asked where I was going.... and it was clear it was a pyramid scheme. One of those that you have to recruit people to sell products and the more you get, the more you get paid .... those kind of things. Even though I was out of work, I knew enough not to do that kind of work.

      And you'll know that they know because after you catch on, they'll start threatening you and insulting you, etc. They're just assholes.

  10. fulicolor

    I usually tell them I have multiple computers and ask them which one has the problem!

  11. navarac

    I usually string them along and eventually tell them I'm using Linux or a Chromebook!

  12. PeterC

    I used to be bombarded with these calls. One day I just unplugged the landline phone and now we use our mobiles. All scam calls came on landline and don't anymore. Any scam calls on mobiles get the numbers blocked. Sorted.

  13. infloop

    Yeah, everyone has those moments. But I guess you could say that it shows that we're human.

    There was one time where the spam calling was so bad I tried to collect as much info as I could the next time they called, then I hung up and filed a complaint with the FTC. Don't know if any of the info was real, but I think after that it stopped.

    Most of the time I just hang up.

  14. simont

    If I am bored and have nothing to do, I try keep them on the line as long as possible. It's fun having them explain how to use a left handed mouse etc

  15. stevem

    I once kept a scammer on the phone for almost 10 minutes using only the words "yes", "yeah" and "yep" and varying my tone. The call end with his last question "Are you taking the p1$$?". I shouted my final reply.

  16. minke

    Just set your phone on Do Not Disturb and don't answer any phone calls. I star a few contacts that I want to hear from so those calls get through, and the others can leave a message if it is important. Since I have my phone with me most of the time I can call back quickly when needed. I find this eliminates virtually every scam caller--they won't leave messages.

  17. mirracle

    Good if you are smart enough to understand it is scam

  18. karlinhigh

    In residential tech support, not a week goes by without someone, somewhere calling about tech support scam incidents. The most frustrating ones are where the victim has fallen for the call so completely that they don't want to believe they've been "had," and almost trust the scammer more than me. IF I'm feeling especially vengeful, and don't have anything else pressing, a full response can include:

    • Get phone number, domain name, any info from remote support tools, anything else scammer presents
    • Report scammer to whatever outfit they're impersonating, often Microsoft
    • Use remote support tool's "report abuse" features, in hopes of getting scammer's account shut down
    • Report any URLs with scam pages to domain registrar or hosting company. Variable success; domain registrar might do a take-down, or might just say "that's the hosting company's problem, not ours." Hosting company is probably somewhere that's mostly inaccessible and uncontactable to the public.
    • Report scammer to USA Federal Trade Commission, or whatever other agency could go after the scammer.
  19. StevenLayton

    I read a story somewhere ages ago about a guy in the UK who had set his home phone up as a premium number, so actually made money from keeping the scammers talking. Can’t remember the details, but Ofcom suggested it wasn’t something people should do, but I thought it was genius.

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