The Mac Versus Windows Battle Rages On

, , , | Legal | February 23, 2021

I receive a phone call from an unrecognized number. I know it’s likely a scam, but I’m bored so I answer.

Scammer: “Hello, this is [Generic Caucasian Name spoken in a foreign accent] and I’m calling because we received an alert that your computer has been infected.”

Me: “Oh, no! What will I do?”

Scammer: “You have to log onto your computer immediately and I’ll remotely access it to remove it for you.”

Me: “Okay! Which computer?”

Scammer: “Your Windows computer.”

Me: “Which one?”

Scammer: “The one with Windows on it.”

Me: “I have two computers. They both have Windows on them.”

Scammer: “…”

Me: “Just kidding. I have an iMac and MacBook. Can I still get a Windows bug, though?”

He hung up.

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That’s None Of Your Business

, , | Right | February 20, 2021

In my company, we often work from home. The company gave us each a cell phone that ties into the assistance call-in queue for our clients. The calls cycle through to the next available agent, etc. The number assigned to the phone is a regular cell number, but we don’t use them outside of client calls, so we always answer the phone, “Hello, [Company] Help Desk. This is [My Name]; how may I assist you?”

Recently, I’ve gotten more than one call that’s gone like this.

Me: “Hello, [Company] Help Desk. This is [My Name]; how may I assist you?”

Caller: “Hi, this is… uh… Wait. Who is this?”

Me: “This is the [Company] client Help Desk. How may I assist you?”

Caller: “Is… is this a business?”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Caller: “Oh… never mind.” *Click*

After the second time this happened, I looked up the number that called and it had been flagged online as a scam. It turned out they were calling the number associated with the cell phone, not the company number. So, I guess I’ve found a new way of discouraging scammers: make them think they’ve called a business number.

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A Scammer With A Sense Of Morality

, , , | Legal | February 15, 2021

I do virtual support work as a volunteer for the American branch of an internationally famous emergency response charity. Most of the phone calls I get on my cell phone are related to this work, to the point where I automatically answer my personal phone with the greeting for the charity.

The phone rings one Saturday morning.

Me: “American [Charity], this is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

I hear a startled male voice with a heavy accent.

Caller: “What? Who is this?”

I start to sense a scammer.

Me: “This is the American [Charity].”

Caller: “This is Saturday! You are working today? This is a business line?”

I make my voice warm, comforting, and absolutely oozing sincerity.

Me: “Sir, the [Charity] is on duty all day, every day, 365 days of the year. Now, how may I help you?”

Caller: “I am so sorry! I am so sorry! Never mind!”

I should start doing this to scammers on my personal landline, as well, but I think the national headquarters would object.

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Let’s Hope This One Doesn’t Rise From The Ashes

, , , | Legal | February 12, 2021

Like many of you, I enjoy messing with scammers. This interaction is my favorite so far. Unfortunately, I cannot duplicate the over-the-top fake New Jersey accent used in this call.

Scammer: “Hello, this is [Scammer] with American Medicare. How are you today?”

Me: “And where are you located?”

Scammer: “I am in Phoenix, Arizona.”

Me: “What time is it in Phoenix, Arizona?”

There’s silence for thirty seconds.

Scammer: “I am calling about your American Medicare benefits!”

Me: “Great. What time is it in Phoenix, Arizona?”

Scammer: “What did you say?”

Me: “What time is it in Phoenix, Arizona?”

Scammer: “Um…”

There’s silence again for a minute.

Me: “I can do this all day. Whatever keeps you from cheating the gullible.”

Scammer: “I’ll put you on our do-not-call list.”

Me: “Aw, don’t want to play anymore?”

And they hung up on me.

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That Should’ve Been Their First Question

, , , , | Legal | February 9, 2021

I am relaxing a bit on my lunch break and scrolling through my phone when I get a phone call. Upon answering it, I realize it’s a scam call. Feeling a little bored, I decide to have some fun.

Scammer: “Hello, this is [Scammer] from [Online Retailer] customer service. There has been some fraudulent activity on your account.”

Me: “What did you say your name was?”

Scammer: *A bit confused* “Um, it’s [Scammer].”

Me: “Okay, great. How do you spell that?”

Still confused, the scammer spells his name.

Me: “All right, then, [Scammer]. So, what’s wrong with my [Online Retailer] account, again?”

Scammer: “There appears to have been some fraudulent activity on your account in China. Do you know anyone in China who might be able to explain this?”

Me: “No, I don’t, but you know what’s funny? I don’t have an [Online Retailer] account.”

Click.

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