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Subject:How not to scam someone
Time:12:48 am
Nearly forgot to post this.

Phone call this morning - guy with an Indian accent says he's from BT technical support and that my internet service is being used illicitly by someone who has access to my private data.

Me. "That's interesting, how are they doing that?"

Guy seems to think for a few seconds, and I think guesses that I'm not buying a word of it. Then "Click."

I really should have come up with a technical comment like "Gosh, they must be using the buffer overflow problem Wired mentioned last year" or "That's strange, I don't have a computer" but it appears that any reaction other than "OMG Panic Panic Panic" was enough to scare him off. So it goes...

Also posted at http://ffutures.dreamwidth.org/2064300.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. Please comment here or there using OpenID.
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pauldormer
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Time:2017-03-31 09:46 am (UTC)
You must have heard Peter Wareham's story about one of these scam calls where they claim you have trouble with your computer. He happened to have an old Amstrad word processor in front of him at the time so gave as his response what he saw on the screen of that. Really confused them.

I must admit that since I've retired I've given up on answering the phone and let it go to answerphone on the basis if someone really wants to talk to me, they'll leave a message. They never do.


Edited at 2017-03-31 09:47 am (UTC)
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ffutures
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Time:2017-03-31 12:32 pm (UTC)
Same here most of the time, but if I'm near the phone I still have a bad habit of picking up.
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whswhs
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Time:2017-03-31 03:12 pm (UTC)
I don't do that, because I myself hate to leave messages and am often flummoxed when I get an answering machine; my instinctive reaction is to hang up and call back later in the day.
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pauldormer
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Time:2017-04-01 10:36 am (UTC)
Conversely, I find it's people who flummox me and would rather leave a message. I hate talking on the phone.
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curiouswombat
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Time:2017-03-31 01:27 pm (UTC)
I actually have used a variant on the 'That's strange, I haven't a computer' line. I greeted the woman from 'Microsoft' with enthusiasm - I presumed, as I didn't have a computer, she must be ringing to tell me I had won one in one of those competitions, and was thrilled - except that we didn't have an electricity supply, were they going to arrange that, too? Oh, and wouldn't I need a phone line...?

At which stage she finally got a word in edgewise and I was very proud of the fact that it was to actually swear mildly before she hung up :)
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ffutures
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Time:2017-04-01 12:13 pm (UTC)
Nice one!
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whswhs
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Time:2017-03-31 03:10 pm (UTC)
Some years back I told one of those scammers that I knew he wasn't really from technical support and therefore he was a thief. He was so offended that he actually called back to complain about my insulting him; I had to turn off the phone for the rest of the morning. That bespeaks an impressive level of naïveté or self-delusion, I think, though I suppose it could be a truly intense dedication to roleplaying. . . .
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ffutures
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Time:2017-04-01 12:15 pm (UTC)
Or it really was BT technical support and they had the wrong number.

OK, yeah, I don't believe it either.
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dandello
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Time:2017-03-31 07:36 pm (UTC)
We respond to the 'trouble with your computer' calls with 'Which one?" Drives them crazy. Apparently no one in the world is supposed to have more than one computer.
The 'urgent call about your bank card or credit card services' also gets 'Which one?" Again, apparently no one in the world has accounts at more than one bank.
The 'urgent call to speak with a business owner' gets "No." Drives them crazy.
The charitable solicitations get "We gave at the office." When they ask "which office?" we respond with "That would be telling."
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2017-04-01 12:16 pm (UTC)
All good responses. The one I really should use is "just a moment, let me put you through to the IT security department," it'd be interesting to see how that went down.
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