Where I live, the current popular SCAM is an attempt to sell 'emergency medical buttons', aka 'I've fallen and I can't get up' buttons. The latest rendition of this SCAM features a casual sounding guy who calls himself 'John'. He sounds like he's live on the phone, except he's not. It's only a recording, as demonstrated by the fact that when you attempt to talk to him, he can't hear you. The recording then concludes with the usual rubbish: "Push # to speak to a representative". -- Oops, the SCAM became obvious. --What idiot comes up with these ludicrous con jobs?
I've been using this simple revenge method for years. I find it to be entirely satisfying.
I push the # button the SCAMMER has requested.
Then I ignore the call.
Sometimes I put down the phone and walk away, or I just set the phone aside while I continue work I'm doing. Even more fun is cranking up the TV and letting it blare at whoever picks up at the other end of the line. It's particularly fun to play them a law and order TV show. I like to think of Chuck Norris' voice scaring the willies out of them.
Q: Why is this revenge effective?
Once the SCAMMER picks up the phone at their end, they're paying the full phone rate for the call. They get charged a full minute, even if they immediately hang up again. That way, they lose money for calling you. They suffer an actual financial consequence for attempting to SCAM you. I like that! A lot!
Considering the persistence of these SCAM calls, often once or twice a day, it gives me great satisfaction to know that the scammer is losing money specifically because they called ME. Heehee haha. Retribution has been deployed.
Q: Is there a bad consequence of this reverse SCAM?
1) If you talk to a human at the other end and tell them to 'STOP CALLING ME!', it makes zero difference. They call you anyway. And the other SCAMMERS who are playing the same con job on suckers will also call you. I've had three different SCAMMERS call me on the same day with different SCAM methods. It's just like SPAM. There are several different SCAMMERS competing to victimize us.
But but but! Don't the scammers think you just put the phone down temporarily and they'll call back later? It doesn't make any difference. They're going to call you back again NO MATTER WHAT.
But but but! Won't they get the idea that you're SCAMMING them back by ignoring them when they pick up? Nope! Hilarious, isn't it. They don't get the clue. Again: They just want your money. Figuring out that you are costing them money doesn't register in their tiny little parasitic brains.
2) That poor, poor person on the other end of the phone line who is simply trying to make money to survive, boohoo, they didn't create the SCAM, they're just a minimum wage earner in a call queue. TOUGH ON THEM. Don't feel sorry for the lowly person working for the SCAMMER. Note, however, that I see no reason to abuse them over the phone. Don't be mean to people. Just cost the scammer time and money, a lovely form of revenge.
THIS IS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF EVERYBODY DID!
When I was a kid, "If Everybody Did" was our family's very favorite book. Look it up if you've never read it. It's lots of nasty fun.
Applied to SCAMMERS: If enough people pull reverse revenge tactics on SCAMMERS, eventually they'll notice and give up the scam. IOW: Once they've lost enough money on the SCAM to notice, they'll eventually figure out it's time to stop. THAT would be ideal! Let's hope EVERYBODY pulls simple, costly revenge tactics on SCAMMERS.
Q: What if there is a LIVE PERSON at the other end when they call?
A common example is the 'I'm from the police benevolence fund blahblahblah' phone call. ALL such calls are SCAMS. Never, never, never are police benevolence funds, retirement funds, wounded in action funds, widow support funds, blahblahbarfbarf funds calling ANYONE for money. I've spoken with the police directly about this situation. ALL such calls are SCAMS. Please call the police yourself to verify I am correct. Then let me know of any such actual, real, benevolence fund! Please! I would love to be wrong. I would love to publish a list of REAL such funds. Meanwhile: ALL phone calls from such 'funds' are SCAMS.
But but but! - I've even asked the guy at the other end of the phone to mail me a simple brochure about their fund, just to verify they are real. They agree to do so! But NEVER, never, never have they sent me anything. Not ever! Scammity scam scam.
Q: So what do you do with the live person?
Remember to NEVER insult anyone. Don't ever be mean to others! It hurts us to be mean to others, never recommended. But I do strongly suggest saying to the SCAMMER:
"I'm sorry. Could you hold for a moment while I see who's at the door?"
Then walk away.
Return a bit later and hang up the phone.
Keep in mind that the SCAMMER is paying for the call and you are costing them money for every moment they sit on their end, live. It's a kind, gentle, simple and joyous form of revenge. Highly recommended. So say I.