Schooled Him On Scamming A School

| USA | Working | July 16, 2017

(I am answering the phone at the college I work at.)

Me: “Hello, this is [College]. How can I direct your call?”

Scammer: *in a very thick Indian accent* “Yes, this is Peter, and I am calling from Microsoft, and we have detected a hacker has gotten into your computer and is trying to steal all of your information. Is your computer on right now?”

Me: *knowing this is a scam* “Yes, it is.”

Scammer: “Okay, I am going to get into your computer to remove the hacker.”

Me: “Which computer?”

Scammer: “The hacker is in your computer, ma’am.”

Me: “You know you called a college, right? There are literally hundreds of computers you could be referring to right now.”

Scammer: “Oh, I called a college? You know what? I think I have the wrong…” *click*

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  • sackes

    “Yes, this is Peter, and I am calling from Microsoft, and we have detected a hacker has gotten into your computer and is trying to steal all of your information. Is your computer on right now?”

    “Yes, and I’m the hacker who’s stealing all the information. Please log in so I can steal yours as well!”

    • If I had the know-how, I would love nothing more than to be able to turn it around on them and go into their computer and fool around.

      • BaseDeltaZero

        There are videos bouncing around the Youtubs of people doing just that…

        • Is there a particular, less-unwieldy term for it? Might be fun to look up.

      • Kathy Joy

        My husband does but he just messes with them like asking them specifics like ‘which computer and asks them all kinds of technical details they cannot answer to identify which computer.

        • That’s good, too, but I’m thinking of something where they establish the connection to your computer, and instead of them going into your computer, you go into theirs and just start messing things up.

          I’m sure there must be a way, but I have no idea how.

          • Kathy Joy

            I know what you meant. It probably is possible. Not much you could do but steal data they already stole though.

  • Riviellan

    I WISH a scammer would call me like this.
    I would pretend to be ‘old grandma who doesn’t like technology’ on them.
    And forward all their information to the police, because scammers make me sick.

    • Asiyd

      I did this once, minus the old gramma part.

      “WHAT?! My windows have a virus!? Can I catch it?! *pats the windows audibly* Can I get rid of it with windex!? I HAVE CHILDREN!! THEY CAN’T BE SICK FOR SCHOOL! *proceeds to fake gross sob over the phone*”

      • Abigail Hermione Irwin

        Okay, WHERE’S THE REST OF THE STORY?! How’d the hacker respond? That sounds hilarious!

        • Asiyd


          They were very confused for a moment and were like “Noo no no, your computer!” and I’d just respond with “My pooter is working just fine… I used it just this morning, flushed and everything!”

          “You must be confused…”

          “Well of course I’m confused! I gotta bleach my whole house now because of this virus!”

          ….Eventually they got frustrated, cursed angrily, and hung up on me. I fell over laughing.

      • I did that once.

      • grmrsan

        I remember an online weirdo who insisted they were sending real, live, physical viruses through the radio. Somehow it was transmitted via radio waves, and somehow had something to do with corn. I asked if lysoling tbe front of the radio would help and he got mad at me. I thought he as just trolling, but he was at it for YEARS in the About forums, under he same name but across different boards.

        • Asiyd

          …..whaaat. That’s taking things to the next level of scammery!

          • grmrsan

            I don’t think he was scamming, I think he was just plain crazy. Super conspiracy theorist, with all tbe bells and whistles thrown in. Trying to save tbe world from the government, the aliens and corn.

          • Asiyd

            ……he wanted to save the world from corn? XD

          • grmrsan

            Yep. GMO corn was somehow modified with brain altering something or others. Some how high fructose corn syrup was involved too. I never did figure it out exactly, but corn specifically was definitely evil.

          • Asiyd

            Well I can kinda understand the wariness of GMO corn but jeez. That poor guy, it must have been frustrating!

          • Donnell Hanog

            Really? I know some people aren’t into that kind of music, but isn’t that a tad harsh?

        • MarcoTheLynx

          I mean… physical viruses, not possible. However I have heard of computer viruses being spread by sound frequencies through speakers, which could technically be broadcast over radio waves. But that’s definitely a new one…

    • Rob Tonka

      And what info do you think you could get that would be helpful? These scammers are typically located overseas and spoofing the called id #.

      • Abigail Hermione Irwin

        C’mon, I doubt very much Riviellan actually expects to get any info from these folks. It’s just a way to irritate them.

        • Rob Tonka

          Hey, I’m just going on what was said. I’m all for wasting their time. I’ve had my shre of calls when I had noth9ng but time snd just played along, but played dumb, just to [censored] with them. Had one guy on the phone for over 30 minutes. Was cussing at me by the end.

    • Vira Vandom

      If they tried scamming me, I’d ask them if they can see my desktop wallpaper… If they say yes, then I’ll ask them what the text on my wallpaper says. Good luck trying to guess what it is, though, since it’s art I made for my story.

    • I’d be the person who would ask which computer, and keep bringing up things that might be computers, but not a single one of them running Windows (even though I do actually have Windows on my desktop).

  • Ladya Aloe

    Used to do business with a mortuary. One of the counselor’s email got hacked and a scammer called me. I let him go on and on, rolling my eyes, even laughing out loud at him. After a while, he triumphantly said, I know where you live! and rattled off the address to the mortuary. I said, Oh no, you got me, come get me! Best scammer call ever.

    • Abigail Hermione Irwin

      “Yep, you got it. I’m in the sixth ‘refrigerator’ in the morgue. Come get me!”

      (Doesn’t matter if this is at all an accurate representation of your workplace, LOL. It’s just a smart-a$$ comeback.)

      • Ladya Aloe

        I didn’t work AT the mortuary itself, so it was funny for him to assume that’s where I was. I wonder how many other clients from that account he tried to scam.

  • Connie McFadden

    Oh, they hate me! While I do have a Windows laptop I mostly use my MacBook and when they call I string them along for awhile playing dumb and pretending to not understand their instructions. It’s a lot of fun to waste their time so they can’t call someone who falls for their scam.

  • Bonnie L

    I’ve had only one scammer call me – I was so mad I gave him a lecture & told him he should be ashamed of himself. He hung up on me – coward.

  • IHadAMew

    I get these calls all the time. I try to keep them on the phone as long as possible. If they’re busy handling me, they’re not stealing from a person who knows little to nothing about computers and would believe them.

  • Karyn McDonough

    “a hacker has gotten into your computer”
    Me: “OMG!!! He must be really small. How’d he get in there?”

  • Kirishima Touka

    I had a call like this at work. Went pretty much the same.

  • Vyrmis

    Man, we get these in the UK, exactly the same. I usually hang up pretty quickly on them. (Easy because they’re the only phone calls with a few seconds delay before someone ‘picks up’ and responds on the other end) One I hung up on called right back to chew me out for being rude! He didn’t seem to realise how his ‘occupation’ came across.

    They’ve started to switch from ‘Microsoft security’, though. Now I’ve started getting phone calls telling me that HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom) is building a case against me – including recordings from a Stephen-Hawking-style voice synthesiser. Anyone else getting something similar?

    • Apparently the IRS is filing multiple law-SUITs (yes, that’s the inflection the robodialer uses) against me, according to various voicemails I continue to get on occasion.

  • I’m remembering this one. “Well crap, we’d better get started, then!”

  • Toad

    I know what line to use next time a scammer calls me.

  • Denton Young

    I sometimes tell them I have 5 computers in the house (true, if you count the smartphones that can go online as computers), and ask which one they mean.

    • We have a laptop, a desktop, my old desktop that isn’t currently hooked up at the moment, two tablets, one smartphone sans data plan, one not-smartphone, and three video game systems. I could arguably make a case for my graphing calculator and various kitchen appliances as well if I really wanted to pull the whole “I don’t know what you mean by ‘computer'” game. My car’s got a computer in it, right?

  • Nanemae

    One called me, but when I mentioned the number of computers we have (2 for me, 1 for my sister, 1 for my mom, and 2 for my little brother, all different types and different operating systems) he just said “f*** you,” and hung up.

    • John L

      God forbid you make THEIR life difficult!

  • Anónima

    I used this strategy once (saying which computer, as there were several), and they replied “any one, it doesn’t matter, just one is enough for me to fix”.
    Then I tried “oh, but you’re from Windows? We use Apple computers”, got the reply “It’s ok ma’am, we can also fix Apple computers”….
    And then I had to keep working, so just hung up.

  • savage

    When the children were toddlers, they just loved to talk to people on the phone. They handled all the sales calls for me. Sadly, today they would be talking to robo-callers.

  • Duane Stephens


  • Kathy Joy

    We literally had this same call about a month ago – I’ve posted it in the comments of another story but basically my husband is very tech savvy – he built all the computers and laptops in our house from scratch. So when a guy calls saying that he is from Microsoft and my husbands computer has a virus, he decides to mess with him. First he asked which computer it was as we had several. Scammer goes ‘The one you’re on right now’ and my husband is like ‘I’m using at once right now’ (he wasn’t) and the guy just keeps insisting the one with windows that he is on now and my husband says he is on 3 at once – he was born with three arms (obviously he doesn’t). Scammer eventually hung up but I had to sit there and no burst out laughing.

  • drwillie1980

    You missed a chance to play the game, which is to keep these guys on the phone as long as possible, asking them REALLY dumb questions and to get THEM to hang up. My favorite was the guy who called to tell me I had problems with my Windows. I told him they looked fine to me; didn’t see a problem as I could see outside through them just fine. Another time one asked me a question about a port. I asked: “A port? Like where ships dock?”