back to article 'Hi, I'm from Microsoft and I am GOING TO KILL YOU'

Apparently, the growing hobby of tagging along with “Microsoft tech support” scam calls to waste their time is starting to bug the scammers, with a Canadian man reportedly threatened by a caller from India. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) says Jakob Dulisse of Nelson in British Columbia played along with the caller …

  1. Herby

    I recently got one of these..

    A couple of times. The problem is that I can't understand them very well. I heard from a relative that they keep wanting to know your IP address, and I suggested they respond with hoping that they will infect themselves. Of course I am running a Linux desktop, so I like to play along.

    The bigger problem is when my wife answers the phone. She thinks they could be "real". Hopefully I have absolved her of this notion. She hung up on the last call per my suggestion.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: I recently got one of these..

      The crazy thing is, they call us in Germany and speak English... Luckily my wife doesn't speak English, so she just hangs up.

      They called once at 7 in the morning, just after I got back from a long trip at 3 in the morning. I wasn't best pleased and the guy got some verbal abuse, before I hung up.

    2. Mark 85

      Re: I recently got one of these..

      I find it's just so much easier when there's a number I don't recognize, I just answer the phone "FBI Field Office". There's usually a very satisfying <click> as the hang up. Although twice I got an even more satisfying shriek before the click.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: I recently got one of these..

        I have a nice British lady's voice say "this call is being recorded" for every phone call I'm part of. Then it actually records the call. Very. Angry. Scammers.

      2. annodomini2

        Re: I recently got one of these..

        Or "Call trace started... Code in.... Code in".

  2. Chris Hawkins

    They hit here in Portugal last week!

    Called me and I told "her" where to go!

    Next day, they called a local retired German client of mine, who doesn't speak that good English, and spent 20 minutes on the phone being instructed on how to download teamviewer and activate it BEFORE teling the spammer that the machine was a MacBook Air!!!!! ;)))))

    Still gave it a once over though.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It had to come

    If they start making threats about your life then it is time to get the police involved.

    I get these sort of calls at least once a week.

    They could be

    - We are from Microsoft Support

    - About that accident you had in the last 2 years

    - etc etc

    They all get short shift with a two word reply ending in "Off".

    My Mother got one last week. She does not even have a computer (Well, she is 96). But she has been briefed by me.

    Because she is hard of hearing, she records all her calls just so that she can listen to them again in case they have number and the like that she needs to write down. I listened to her give the guy the brush off telling him about how she flew bombers in WW2 (Delivering planes to squadons) and that she din't fight the Germans just so that he could try to scam her. Wonderful Stuff.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: It had to come

      Hehe... The older generation is sometimes better than the baby boomer onwards in that. I have a recording somewhere of my mom explaining a scammer exactly what to do with various body parts using docker vocabulary in 3 languages.

      They tried to scam her (very professionally too) that I got myself in an accident and urgently needed some financial assistance. They knew I was abroad and in which country too and quite a bit of personal detail too. What they missed was that as a bilingual I would have been talking to her in her language, not my official native language. At that point she hit the record button, followed by "fire at will".

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: It had to come

        I suspect that I am not the only person with procedures in place - basically, "I will cause this question to be asked if it's really on my behalf" for the accident overseas scam, and "call me and accept no others" in the case of police or banking calls - for my aged parents.

        My father was scammed for fifty grand a couple of years back, with the 'different voice on the phone' after he called the bank back on a line that was held open, and his BT line remotely diverted to answerphone (still haven't got the bottom of that).

    2. N2

      Re: It had to come

      Excellent, well done to her!

      pint from me, draught sherry perhaps? it is Friday

      1. Sarah Balfour

        Re: It had to come

        It is…?! The planet only has 24 time-zones. Where the fuck are you - Jupiter…?!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It had to come

          The planet currently has 40 time zones (soon to be 39 if South Australia decides to change).

    3. D@v3

      Re: calling about your accident

      I had one of those a few weeks back. I decided to play the "it must have been a very serious accident that induced amnesia because I can't remember it" card. Managed to string them along for a few minutes with questions like, "was I hurt" "am I going to be ok" "do my family know about this" before they gave up and hung up on me.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: calling about your accident

        I'm liking the amnesia idea. I think I might use that. I've not had a Windows call in weeks, but the accident ones are common.

        The people who were calling me claiming to be from Microsoft have now changed their script. Now they're calling from your ISP, as they've noticed virus acivity on your broadband line. I believe some now have a script for finding virus activity on your Mac too. Not sure they've got round to bothering with one for Linux.

    4. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: It had to come

      I should worry when they call you about that accident you might have...

    5. Graham Marsden

      "If they start making threats about your life then it is time to get the police involved"

      The problem is that the Police can't (or won't) do anything about it.

      I had a scam caller who I kept stringing along for a while, then asked if his mother knew that her son was a liar and a thief and would she be proud that he was a scammer who tries to rip people off?

      He started getting abusive, so I returned the compliment, then hung up after which he phoned back and yelled "I know where you live and I'm coming to rape you!" (Yeah, sure)

      However I decided to contact the Police, but after coming round and taking some details they basically said "we can't do anything because the number was withheld".

      Now it's my understanding that this only means that the phone company (Virgin Media) won't pass on the number if I do a 1471, not that they don't have the number at all, but there seemed to be a lack of interest or desire to actually do anything about this by getting the number off Virgin to take it further.

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    Outsourcing to India - Payback

    So know that we have taught the Indians to become proficient with computers and phone systems the bad guys amongst them have realised how they can use them against us..

    Maybe in return we can start phoning them and offering them really high paid jobs in London, they are after all very technically efficient people, all the we need to know in advance is their IP address ........etc........etc ...... of course it's not a scam

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Outsourcing to India - Payback

      1. They would have done it even if we did not teach them. It is not that difficult.

      2. They suck as scammers. I have seen scams of "your son is in an accident", "tech support", etc executed in Eastern Europe. India is nowhere near.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Outsourcing to India - Payback

        "1. They would have done it even if we did not teach them. It is not that difficult"

        Technically it's not difficult, to be convincing requires some skill. We taught them how to become "helpdesks", and this is exactlly the skill set that they are using.

        2 : I would not call a multi-million dollar business a failure. If they suck so much how come they managed to earn so much..

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Outsourcing to India - Payback


          Senior management are gullible, greedy b'stards who only look for a golden cock-shake. Outsource it to a bunch of incompetent lying shysters for few years who *say* they have qualified people who can do the job.

          Result is a shit service which costs more than was originally touted.

          I know - I have been there.

  5. Florida1920

    Fight back

    When they threaten you, tell them, "Oh, yeah? Well I work for Linux, and we chop up Windows users and feed them to penguins!"

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Fight back

      "Ah work for Mel Brooks!"

      1. Scott 26

        Re: Fight back

        @neil barnes: Upvote for the Blazing Saddles reference :)

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Fight back

      I use FreeBSD - we set demons on them.

  6. thames

    I've had these calls

    I live in Canada, and I've had these calls. I once kept the guy on the line for a while pretending to follow his instructions and telling him it wasn't working. He finally asked me what version of Windows I had, and I said I had Linux. He didn't believe me and kept insisting that I had either Windows or Apple. Eventually, he hung up.

    I do have to say though that scummy American robo-caller companies ("press 1 to lower your interest rate") are worse than the Indian Microsoft scammers when it comes to persistence and being annoying. They're probably both equally crooked. I'm not sure though which one has the more incomprehensible accent.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: I've had these calls

      I have to agree, I would much prefer scams where I get a real person, you can't have much fun with a robot.

      besides "threatened to rape me" would be interesting to get to type into Mr. Number.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    There was a scammer who threatened me with the wrath of "god" for scorning his sales pitch.

    1. RyokuMas

      Re: $deity

      The correct response in this situation is "tout est pardonne, mon ami, tot est pardonne"...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am from a technical support desk in the UK...

    ...and we would like to hire such an enterprising individual. I'm sure our statistics would improve rapidly with half of our user base being deceased.

    *joke, of course*

  9. WonkoTheSane

    I've also had a few of these.

    My usual response is either:-

    A: Wind them up so tight they start swearing down the phone, at which point I tell them their supervisor is standing RIGHT behind them.


    B: Say in my best 1930's BBC accent, "I'm terribly sorry old chap, but I don't speak a word of English. Good day to you, sir!"

    1. breakfast Silver badge

      Re: I've also had a few of these.

      When people ring me up to ask whether I am responsible for the telephone line at my house, I deny having a phone. That either confuses them so much they spend a lot of time trying to convince me that I must do or - in the most satisfying cases - they just apologise and hang up.

    2. Chronigan

      Re: I've also had a few of these.

      Do it in a bad french accent. Extra points for saying "Good Moaning"

  10. MatsSvensson

    Amiga 1000

    If I have the time to waste, i like to take them through all the hoops of getting my puter ready.

    Rebooting, inserting kickstart-disk, trying to be helpful in the process of installing their programs om Workbench 1.2 etc...

    I managed to get some pretty nasty reactions in the end too =)

    "You're very rude sir, very rude!"

    And that's were i like to get into details about my date last night with their mum.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amiga 1000

      I always find going local with a bit of Hindi vernacular is almost guaranteed to get them hot under the collar - most will understand even if its not their particular regional language. As a rule, Indians detest Pakistan and are very touchy about their Mothers/Sisters, so: "challo Pakistan" (go to Pakistan) followed by "Mata chaud" / "Behen chaud" (Mother/Sister f***er, pronounced beh-hen) enrages them on multiple levels.

  11. Corinne

    I had loads of fun with one of those calls recently from a guy who apparently worked for "the Windows company". I sounded worried and asked him which device was the one with the problem, which confused him a bit. I said that if he could tell me what version of Windows was causing the problem I would know which computer was having difficulties as I have more than 1 windows machine in the house.

    He got quite irritated with me when I explained I couldn't let him have access to the right computer until I knew which one it was, and telling me what operating system it was using would let me do that. He kept telling me it was the "Windows" one. I got bored after around 20 minutes of talking in circles and tying him in knots, & told him where to go.

    They also call my neighbour quite often - she's well into her 70's and slightly deaf, and still gets her daughter to use the cash machine for her and has never had a computer in the house...

  12. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    I got one too, once or twice

    I really, really really would like that remote BOFH-enhanced cattleprod functionality on the phone going.

    Them: <indian accent> Hello mr. Wilkinson, I am calling from Microsoft Tech Support

    </indian accent>

    Me: Hello, you may call me Simon

    Them: <indian accent> Sir, your computer >>KZZEERT<<

    </indian accent>

    Alternatively, I would like to wire a fax machine, enhanced to 120dB volume, to answer their questions

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: I got one too, once or twice

      "Just a moment, I will switch the telephone line to the offending machine, so you can control it directly"

      Fx: modem handshake screech at 120dB

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Used to hate getting these calls

    Now I just speak softly and quietly so they are forced to turn the volume up on their headset, once that's done I let off my wife's attack alarm off down the phone, funny you can still hear the screams from the caller above the screeching of the alarm.

  14. Garry Perez

    Not my tactic but I have used it......

    Call centre "Hello I'm from Microsoft and we've detected a problem on your PC...."

    Me (Loudly" "Sweet Leaping Jesus, hallaluah, my pc HAS been faulty, can you fix it?"

    Call Centre "Of course sir, please switch it on"

    Me "Yes!!!!!! Can you see the screen, its now checking file system on C:. 1%....................2%.........................3% ou stilll there?.......... 4% ...........

    Never got to 10%, or had my pc fixed :(

  15. Anonymous Coward


    I got one of these "microsoft support" calls.

    Because of the poor English, inept technical skills, and high arrogance, I thought it was legit!

    1. riverman
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Convincing

      I always tell them that the problem can easily be fixed by bringing my unusually large generative organ into intimate contact with their esophogus. Using phraesology likely to be familiar with those frequenting porn sites results in an immediate disconnect.

      Paris, who else?

  16. Peter Storm

    Problem with my windows

    The last one I had told me they had detected a problem with my windows.

    I tried to tell him that my widows were all working fine. They were double glazed, they all opened and closed really nicely and were really sparkling as I'd just had them cleaned.

    He seemed to get very irate at this point so I started laughing to try and lighten the mood. Unfortunately this only seemed to make him more upset and he hung up.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Problem with my windows

      "I tried to tell him that my widows were all working fine."

      That opens up another possible wind-up line. You misheard him & assure him you don't have any widows. You'd have to be dead for that & if you were dead you wouldn't be talking to him...

  17. Wombling_Free

    Transfer tennis

    I once worked in a small office - about 6 of us in a large studio. We had a game - Transfer Tennis. Easy to play. You transfer the call to the next person - +1 point. Each time you get it back, you increase your points gained, eg, second time, +2; third, +3. If you get hung up on, thats -5. Each swear word from the caller is +1 (must be on speakerphone to get this) and +5 for death threats.

    It would go like this:


    Me: Good morning this is blah blah blah, etc...

    India: Yes very good morning to you too sir we have detected a fault with your...

    Me: Ah, is this IT related? I'll transfer you to IT.

    2nd Player: Hello, etc (longer and more complex greetings are good form)

    India: Yes it is a very fine morning indeed sir could I just get you to turn on...

    2nd Player: Ah, you're after IT? Sorry, this is finance, we use abacusses. I'll pass you to IT...

    etc. When it gets back to you, you could try a silly voice (Indian accent: Oh, hello? You are being transferred too? What a coincidence! Please hold!) or just use the same voice, pretend to be a different division - if challenged, say 'Oh you must mean Roger, he sounds just like me.'

    Scores in the teens are considered legendary and you will receive fame and your colleagues ovation forever.

  18. Mark Allen

    Fun times

    I had one yesterday. Initially I just politely said "No thanks, not interested" and put the phone down.

    The guy then phoned back and hurled abuse at me. Clearly he had been learning a few choice English swear words. "Excellent", I reply, "The early morning abuse line. This is more like it."

    I confused him by being mega polite and laughing a lot. He seemed happy he was wasting my time... until I pointed out he was on speakerphone and I was carrying on with my work.

    It did get a little weird as he was asking if I had the mobile phone numbers of any women he could have. I could hear the call centre behind him, he said there was a thousand of them in the room! Sounded like it!

    I never did find out what he actually wanted as he seemed to have forgotten about his script. Only thing that disappointed me is he hung up just before I had selected some music for him. I had just found some rather nice abusive extreme punk music to play him, but he hung up.

    You have to play with these people. Free entertainment. I see it as doing a service for the community as the longer I talk to him, the less he is scamming someone else.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just waiting

    ...for the chance to convince them I have used DEL - the Device Exception Log and can't see any problem.

    the DEL being, of course that built-in Microsoft tool that a lot of cheap antivirus vendors use and just sell you a GUI.

    Oh yes, it's actually very good, just not ever so user friendly. You (dear caller) should give it a try:

    Get 'em to run CMD then type "DEL c:\Windows *.*" hit Return and wait for the DEL report.

    Nearly made it once but the guy was a poor English speaker and in the end got pissed off getting me to explain umpteen times and hung up.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Re: Just waiting

      Very much like the "remark" tool the BOFH taught novice computer users about years back. Easily invoked using the usual UNIX abbreviation "rm"

      1. Stoneshop

        Re: Just waiting

        "Sorry, I' running Linux, so you need to install cygwin to connect from your Windows machine. In the meantime, I've sent you a mail with the connection details. After you've started cygwin, you can read the mail simply by using the Read Mail command. As every command on Linux is abbreviated, you only have to type 'rm -rf /', for 'Read Mail Real Fast', the slash is to indicate it's the message at the top of your inbox"

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The last one of these I had I successfully kept him on the phone for 15 minutes while I wandered round the house playing along. - a new personal record I was on overtime rates at the time so I had time to kill... He even rang me back twice to swear at me after he realised I was playing him and I'd hung up laughing at him.

  21. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    It just struck me

    No need for technology, I will just pass the caller to "my boss", and then do one of my celebrated Brian Blessed impersonations. Did one on holidays in the Alps recently, and had my kids in stitches.


  22. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    My colleague did very well with one once. He was polite and slighlty confused but helpful. His voice is already quite posh, but he was playing up the RP a bit as well. The scammer must have thought he was onto a winner.

    Then he suddenly changed. Incredibly aggressive tone of voice, "are you lying to me? You're lying to me aren't you. There isn't a problem with my computer! You've already lied to me once, your name isn't Bob is it?" etc.

    Onto speakerphone. There was a bit of a shocked pause from scam-central. Then suddenly, "fuck off you fucking pakki!" Then they played a version of the lovers refusing to be the first to hang up, with "you fuck off." "No, you fuck off first!"

    Which continued for another couple of minutes. By which point I was crying with laughter.

  23. Fonant

    Record here is 45 minutes keeping them on the line. Got as far as "installing" their remote assistance software, but somehow the connection ID I read out to them never seemed to work. Got the initial caller's supervisor involved too, which is always worthwhile. One female caller eventually ended by telling me to "sleep with" my mother, which I expressed mild surprise about: I asked if that sort of thing was common where she came from.

    The current most-common phone call is someone with an Indian accent who starts by asking me to confirm my address and postcode. I just tell them that the one they've read out to me is wrong. They then ask for the correct address and postcode and I just refuse to tell them which doesn't seem to be an option in their script and we get stuck. I'm considering getting them to change the address and postcode to something slightly plausible but completely wrong, just to poison their database.

    1. Triple B

      Use ReactOS

      My time record is 80 minutes of pretending to be a bit wet behind the ears. To help accomplish this, I was using a ReactOS VM, while throws all sorts of strange and creative errors when attempting to run the various remote desktop tools the scammers tried to use.

    2. Why Not?

      Good idea It has to be :

      Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA

      020 7981 3000

  24. bailey86

    Bear in mind...

    Bear in mind that the guys calling might be victims themselves - and maybe working for people who are not very nice. And surely it's a symptom of poverty that this is one of the 'work' options available.

    We (wife and I) do a polite 'Sorry, we have no computers here' and a second or two later the call usually drops.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Bear in mind...

      On the Windows scam I actually checked this, so that I could feel morally allowed to tell them to fuck off. They could be on the version of the scam where they just do the script, and then the actual theft bit is done by someone else - as they hand the call over when it comes to selling the "anti-virus product".

      But that's not how it works. And from talking politely to a couple of the guys who've phoned us, it was abundantly clear that they knew that they were doing was both immoral and illegal.

    2. Scott 26

      Re: Bear in mind...

      I've managed to string one of them along - I asked him how he was able to turn my IP address into my phone number? He said he got my phone number from MS when I first registered Windows - my counter was that my copy of windows was pirated.... then the real abuse started: he actually gave the impression he was upset I had stolen windows! The irony.

      Anyway - I have been lead to believe these guys bounce their international calls thru unsecured PABX/VOIP exchanges and thus aren't paying for the call. So I feel a little guilty trying to make the call last as long as possible - anyone know if this is true or urban legend?

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Bear in mind...

        "I have been lead to believe these guys bounce their international calls thru unsecured PABX/VOIP exchanges and thus aren't paying for the call."

        Correct. Some of the indian police raids have been in response to this.

        I suspect the one where they found a call centre pulling the IRS tax scam was due to call routing fraud, as it was clear the Indian police had no idea who to talk with in the USA (and were unable to make contact with any LEO who would help them) having discovered the viper nest.

    3. Dave Harvey

      Re: Bear in mind...

      Think about it this way.....

      You come out of your house to find a guy stealing the tyres off your car, who says that he Is "employed" to take tyres: - do you:

      1) Say "Sorry to disturb you, but I need those tyres, please take them from someone else's car instead"


      2) Have a yell at him for trying to steal from you?

      Your answer to phone scammers seems to be a variation on (1) - so given that these guys are thieves and vandals, trying deliberately to wreck your computer, why treat them any differently to the tyre thief?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bear in mind...

        I think hitting him around the head with a tire iron is the correct response, at least it was in my neighborhood.

  25. Hollerith 1

    This has been a modest winner:

    I have had a couple of these, as well as similar scam calls, and I always start 'Yes, I'd be glad of your assistance, but first I'd like to talk with you about my personal Saviour, Jesus.' So far I have never been speaking to a devoted Christian, so have not offended. If they don't hang up immediately, I can go on witnessing to my personal faith for an amazing length of time. At the end, I feel cleansed and renewed, so it's all good.

    (I am a non-believer, so I can sound uber-sincere with an untroubled conscience.)

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: This has been a modest winner:

      Jesus saves! (by clicking on the floppy disk icon in the toolbar)

  26. Valerion

    I've never had one.

    Been waiting for years but never got it.

    What I will do when it finally happens is give my name as Mr Cameron, then ask them to call me back on my landline. I will then give the phone number for Downing Street.

    Hopefully it'll eventually get annoying for whoever mans the phones there, and MI6 will sort it all out once and for all.

  27. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Cold Callers

    As soon as I hear a click (Or silence to call centre background whine) after I have picked up the phone is slammed down. If its important I'll get a call back.

    On the odd occasion where I miss this I try and sell them car insurance (I don't actually do that but its amazing how fast they hang-up afterwards).

  28. OliverJ

    Use a counter script

    Great ideas here, I can't wait trying out the transfer game. In the meantime, here is a counter script which is around for ages:

  29. Gis Bun

    The guy from India must really be stupid. Can't he tell that the Canadian guy knows his stuff.

    Scammer, thief, "bad person", uttering death threats, .....

  30. Gruezi

    Getting closer...

    I live in Switzerland and I have had 3 of these in English!! On the last call, I asked the guy if this is the job he always dreamed of. If, when he wakes up in the morning, does he feel that he has achieved all he wanted in life, and if not, I work for a large company who employ many many people in India and doesn't he want a real job? Almost got him to send me his CV, and once one of them does, maybe we can get El Reg to post the (probably fake) CV of a scammer... :)

    Anyone else up for the challenge?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lucky fellas!

    All I ever get (quite frequently, mind) are automated calls with standard waffle from tape.

    Otherwise it would be my pleasure to waste their time for a bit so that they mark me as a hopeless timewaster in their database and leave me alone.

    Nothing you can do about those freaking tapes though!

  32. Jonathon Green

    I think that every time anyone gets one of these call they should send a small donation to the Pakistani embassy with a note saying that it's to put towards their nuclear weapons program...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People like this...

    ...should spend the next 30 years in the slammer.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: People like this...

      270 rejected posts. 800+ live. Not ONE of those has been posted as anything other than Anonymous Coward. Never stopped to think why you're on permanent pre-moderation?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: People like this...

        I love The Register's pro-active no-nonsense attitude to customer service!

  34. Chris Evans

    Do your bit!

    I'm very surprised there aren't more comments about how long people have managed to string them along. I feel it is my duty as part of the IT industry to do my bit to stop these criminal leaches. Come on lads! See how long you can string them along.

    I managed just under an hour once and 25 minutes the second time before they gave up.

    I told them the computer was upstairs and not turned so I could keep them on hold for four or five minutes each time I turned it on, opened a menu etc.

    Scammer persuaded to jack in the job:

  35. Alistair Silver badge

    just for fun:

    install the KDE spin.

    then install this:

    let em at it.

  36. Stevie


    "... and dump them in the river!"

    (my instant imagined response)

    "And three months later you have to fish them out of your office when the monsoon comes and the river floods you out. Bit of an own-goal if you ask me."

  37. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "spent 20 minutes on the phone being instructed on how to download teamviewer and activate it BEFORE teling the spammer that the machine was a MacBook Air!!!!! ;)))))"

    That's what I did too! You know, even if I had been using Windows they were using the wrong terminology sometimes. But they wanted me to install TeamViewer. I said I was unpacking the archive and they were like "Huh?" but went along with it. When it got to where I was going to read them some number, then I was like "Oh I forgot I'm not even running Windows, I'm running Ubuntu Linux. Bye." They called right back but I ignored them. I tied them up about 20 minutes.

    They called some other time and I strung them several minutes "Oh that's funny that you'd find problems "with my Windows" because I keep Windows the hell off my computers, I'm running Linux." 8-) They tried to say I must be mistaken and I had to point out "I think I know what software my computers are running." 8-)

    The worst are the one I call "card fucker" though. This is "Rachel from Account Services" and associated scammers. The fuckers called 6 times yesterday before I even woke up! I have filed over 284 FCC complaints against them for violating the Do Not Call list, illegal robocalls, and line seizure (they sometimes call twice or 3 times in a row, so if I tried to make an emergency outgoing call they'd have the line tied up.) US law allows me to personally collect fines for each incident (probably most people can't because they don't bother to file complaints.) When the Do Not Call laws were passed they realized the FCC and FTC would not be able or willing to collect all fines, thus the clause allowing private citizens to do it. These fines would come to $284,000 if I collect the minimum amount. (Once they are informed the calls are illegal, which I've done on record several times, I could collect double or triple.)

  38. Slx

    The simplest solution to this would be to start blacklisting the telcos that are providing them with gateway from VoIP to the PSTN.

    I can assure you they'd be off the phones in a few hours once a few major US or Euro telcos had barred whatever Indian or other operators are passing that scam traffic.

  39. geekdoc

    Oh yes! I receive at least one call a week.

    After spending 11 years in the Navy (US variety) as a Medical Officer I do have a vocabulary that would make the devil blush. My wife looks at me aghast when she hears me uncork. Then she cools right off when I tell her is was Bill Gates ill gotten spawn calling again.

  40. Heelfree

    "Can I have your Credit Card number please?"

    Over the last month or two I've found that this results in an instant "click" and silence - these scammers seem to have been taught to give up with this reply.

    I also use the same technique with many other callers, explaining this is a pay-for number and it seems to work reasonably well. Endless opportunity to wind-up persistent callers by telling them how much of a bill they have already run up etc.

    Previously a discussion of the caller's sexual preferences and why they are calling me if not to arrange some homosexual liaison have proved amusing, but lasts far longer than I expected or had time for - persistent buggers they are!

  41. Robert McCracken

    And this is....

    Why I haven't got a landline phone. To clarify I have a landline for broadband but no phone plugged in just because of this crap and that I don't get anywhere near the zillion free minutes and texts on my mobile contract.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Greshams Law

    I think that is right, its the Bad Money Drives out the Good law. Or in this case scam callers have made legitimate business to customer phone calls less and less beliveable.

    Still my answerphone handles all that stuff - I almost never pick up until I identify the voice and number withheld means number is not getting picked up at all.

    I still get 2 to 6 automated calls a week.

    It is still a wonder why legitamate business try to get you to go all electronic either after all the scam emails there are which are supposed to come from them.

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