That’s The Trouble With Scammers; They Never Think Things Through

, , , , | Legal | March 19, 2021

Recently, we have been receiving a bunch of scam calls at my work. I knew it was only a matter of time before I got one. We are on the opposite side of the country from the headquarters, and they are three hours later than us. Also, they are never in the building on weekends. This call takes place on a Sunday evening.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. How can I help you?”

Scammer: “I need to talk to a manager.”

Me: “I’m the supervisor on duty. How can I help you?”

Scammer: “This is [Scammer] from corporate. We are seeing a high number of gift card sales just going through your Point-Of-Sale system. We believe you have been infected with malware.”

Me: “Sorry, but I know you’re not from corporate. You’re gonna have to try again later. Good effort, though.”

I think I was mostly baffled that they thought somebody would believe there was anybody in our corporate office at 11:00 pm on a Sunday!

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They May Take Our Time, But They Will Never Take OUR FREEDOM!

, , , , , , | Legal | March 17, 2021

I keep an old pay-as-you-go mobile phone at home which I use to maintain a social media tool and for banking, because my bank, like most, sells telephone numbers to marketing lists for profit because they’re scum. Nobody that I care for uses that number, so I know that whenever it rings, the caller is a salesperson or a scammer.

My phone rings and, out of boredom, I pick up and answer in a very frail, old person’s voice.

Me: “Helloooooo… [Fake First and Surname] speaking.”

Scammer: “Good day, Mr. [Fake Surname], this is John Smith from the Internal Revenue Service. Were you aware that you have a significant amount of unpaid taxes?”

Me: “Pardon me… Who did you want to talk to? I’m not sure that they’re here.”

Scammer: “I wanted to talk to you, Mr. [Fake Surname], about your unpaid taxes. Now, really, sir, you need to sort this out or you could go to prison! You’re in very serious trouble.”

Me: “Oh, no, no… There’s—” *shifty voice* “—no Mr. [Fake Surname] here. You must have the wrong number.”

Scammer: “Sir, you answered the phone with your name. This is childish; you are definitely you. Now, this is a serious matter and you need to address it.”

Me: *In a harsh voice* “Well, you got me, you b*****d. You found me out! Well, you’ll never take me alive! COME GET ME, YOU PIGS! COME GET ME! FREEDOM! FREEDOM! FREEEEEEEEEEEEEDOMMMMM!”

Scammer: “Sir, sir, stop shouting at me! We’re coming to get you! You’re going to jail! This call is being recorded and will be used as evidence against you! NOW, BEHAVE AND SETTLE YOUR ACCOUNTS, OR ELSE!”

Me: “I’m armed! I AM ARMED AND DANGEROUS! YOU’LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE!!!”

This goes on for a while until, finally, the scammer hangs up. With a raw throat, I put down the phone with a happy sigh, only to hear a wheezing noise behind me.

Wife: “What the actual f*** was that about?”

The scammer never called back. Not that it matters. I’m not allowed to answer the phone anymore.


This story is part of our Best Of March 2021 roundup!

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Technically Speaking, I Have No Idea

, , , | Legal | March 7, 2021

I have a scammer ring one day.

Scammer: “Hi. I’m from the technical department and we’ve detected—”

Me: “The technical department of where?”

Scammer: *Pauses* “What?”

Me: “You said you’re from the technical department… of what company?”

Scammer: “Um… Windows?”

I hung up.

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Aww, Mommy’s First Scammer

, , , , | Right | March 5, 2021

I’m at the end of my first pregnancy when my water breaks. I page the midwives and wait for whichever one of them is on call to phone me from her personal cell, with caller ID disabled. The phone rings.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “I bought your liquid hand soap and it broke.”

I have a small soap business. I only ever sold eight glass bottles of hand soap; six were to a small store across the country and none were in the last two years. The product is still on my website, along with my phone number.

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Caller: “I got it home and opened up the box which made it break and I cut myself. What are you going to do about it?”

I’ve never used box packaging for this product, and her story makes zero logical sense.

Me: “Look, I’m in labor and I only answered the phone because I thought you might be the midwife. Can you call me back in a couple of weeks?”

Caller: “No! You have to take care of this right now.”

Me: “Well, I can’t, I’m in labor and going to have a baby.”

Caller: “I’m having a baby tomorrow.”

This seems unlikely, but remember, I’m not in the best frame of mind, so I answer sincerely.

Me: “Congratulations!”

Caller: “I had to get stitches when the glass cut me and you have to do something.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t do anything right now. I have to go. Call back next month.”

I hang up, and a couple of minutes later, she calls back. I hand the phone to my husband who puts it on speaker.

Caller: “That was really rude. I’m a customer and you have to deal with this.”

My husband tries to explain that this isn’t a good time, to no avail.

Me: *Whispering* “Ask her where she bought it from.”

Caller: “I cut myself really badly. What are you going to do for me?”

Me: *Whisperin.* “Ask her to look on the container and tell you the lot number.”

I don’t use lot numbers, but at least subconsciously I know this woman doesn’t have an actual bottle on her.

Husband: “What is the lot number on the bottle?”

Caller: *Hangs up*

Thankfully, the next call was from the midwife and the scammer lady never did call back.

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Ask Me Again And I’ll Tell You The Same

, , , , | Legal | March 5, 2021

I work for a large organisation in the UK. We have about 2,000 staff with individual phone numbers; as such, we have been allocated a batch of phone numbers. After the area code, each number has the same first two digits. Locals know this, but our phone numbers otherwise look identical to any local landline. Consequently, we still get the same scam calls about changing utility providers, etc.

In my forty-person, open-plan office we all have consecutive phone numbers. I am staying late in the office one evening before a late meeting. There is no point going home, so I’m watching movies and doing some admin. Then, a scammer calls my desk phone. I answer with my name and normal spiel about the organisation and explain that he has called an office and I have no control over our utilities, etc. He hangs up. Then, the next phone rings… and I decide to have some fun.

I can answer any phone from my desk, so I give the same spiel again and hang up. Phone number three rings, and so on. I give the same spiel in the same pleasant voice every time and make an internal bet as to whether I can get him to give up before he calls every phone in the office.

The lightweight only makes it to phone twenty-three out of forty before giving up. I killed some time, wasted his time, and finally made a scammer give up!

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