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'Microsoft' we'll fix your computer scam - what is the best response?

SueEley 12 279 96 Wales
16 Aug 2012 2:27PM
I'm normally a fairly polite person, but I was provoked to rudeness this morning. A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from 'Microsoft' wanting to fix my computer. I kept the woman on the phone for quite a while as we established she had no idea even of the different Microsoft operating systems - she was massively ignorant and I don't see how she could have scammed anyone, although I wasted some of her time and her company's phone bill anyway. This morning, when I was in a hurry, I got a similar call. This time I just told the caller exactly what I thought of thieves like her, and not in polite language, either. There was a longish silence, after which I asked if she would like me to speak to her supervisor and she hung up. At one level, I don't feel proud about being rude, but at another, this woman is working for a bunch of crooks, and presumably knows it, so anything I can do to make her wish she didn't work there must be a good thing? There doesn't seem to be much that one can do about this scam, except warn other people. What do you all do?

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macroman 15 15.3k England
16 Aug 2012 2:35PM
My Microsoft advisor (Indian?) hasn't contacted me for some weeks now, probably 'cos I wound him up for about 15 minutes, trying to convince him that my Sinclair OS didn't have a Windoze 'start' button. Grin.

I really miss him as I always get a lot of fun winding him up.
teepee 15 1.3k England
16 Aug 2012 2:37PM
I just say "one moment" put the phone down and carry on with what I was doing, wastes their time and money! After about 10 minutes their well gone!
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2012 2:42PM
It depends on my mood. In order of increasing time
- A few AngloSaxon epithets
- after the introduction saying "that's strange, you don't sound like a 'John'. What's your real name?"
- asking them how they know I am using a microsoft computer (and hear them squirm)
- being nice and polite at the start then putting the handset on the table while I carry on working and letting them blather away until they realise I am not listening
- being really horrified at the idea that my computer may be infected and pretending to follow their instruction and after some time saying 'hey, that's interesting. I have a virus warning that this is a site linked with fraud and criminality', or 'I have a warning that this site is being investigated by the FDA'
- pretending to compliantly follow their instructions and "oops, my computer's crashed. Can you hold on until I reboot it"
macroman 15 15.3k England
16 Aug 2012 2:58PM
Another is to 'follow' instructions and exclaim, " Oh Dear, the screen has gone all blue, what's happened".
He mutters somthing and hangs up. Grin
whipspeed 13 4.2k 22 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2012 3:13PM
I haven't had a call from them since I said my phone calls were being monitored by the Police as I was getting alot of calls from people pretending to be from Microsoft. LOL, they hung up really quickly.
My son did tell them to F*ck off the other week, as we had lots of calls and they asked him if he knew what it meant. Oh dear, big mistake to ask a student who had nothing to do at that moment & loves a discussion. They hung up then as well Smile
JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
16 Aug 2012 3:16PM
All I do is hang up, as the saying goes.

Have had similar calls recently from people doing a Crime Prevention Survey, but they have got a very basic fact completely wrong and refuse to tell me where they got the incorrect information wrong. They decline, so I hang up on them.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2012 3:19PM
Here's something I found a while ago

Specific Ways To Make Telemarketers Go Away
If they want to loan you money, tell them you just filed for bankruptcy and you could sure use some money. Ask, "How long can I keep it? Do I have to ever pay it back, or is it like the other money I borrowed before my bankruptcy?"

If you get one of those pushy people who won't shut up, just listen to their sales pitch. When they try to close the sale, tell them that you'll need to go get your credit card. Then, just set the phone down and go do laundry, shopping or whatever. See how long that commission based scum waits for you to get your credit card.

If they start out with, "How are you today?" say, "Why do you want to know?" Or you can say, "I'm so glad you asked, because no one seems to care these days and I have all these problems, my sciatica is acting up, my eyelashes are sore, my dog just died...." When they try to get back to the sales process, just continue on with telling about your problems.

If the person says he's Joe Doe from the ABC Company, ask him to spell his name, then ask him to spell the company name, then ask where it is located. Continue asking personal questions or questions about the company for as long as necessary.

This one works better if you are male: Telemarketer: "Hi, my name is Julie and I'm with Dodger & Peck Services.... You: "Hang on a second." (few seconds pause) "Okay, (in a really husky voice) what are you wearing?"

Crying out, in well-simulated tones of pleasure and surprise, "Julie, is this really you? I can't believe it. Julie, how have you BEEN?" Hopefully, this will give Julie a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where the heck she could know you from.

Say, "No," over and over. Be sure to vary the sound of each no, and keep an even tempo even as they're trying to speak. This is the most fun if you can keep going until they hang up.

If MCI calls trying to get you to sign up with their Family and Friends plan, reply, in as sinister a voice as you can muster, "I don't have any friends...would you be my friend?"

If they clean rugs: "Can you get blood out, you can? Well, how about goat blood or HUMAN blood - chicken blood too?"

Let the person go through their spiel, providing minimal but necessary feedback in the form of an occasional "Uh-huh, really, or, "That's fascinating." Finally, when they ask you to buy, ask them to marry you. They get all flustered, but just tell them you couldn't give your credit card number to someone who's a complete stranger.

Tell them you work for the same company they work for. Example: Telemarketer: "This is Bill from Widget & Associates." You: "Widget & Associates, hey I work for them too. Where are you calling from?" Telemarketer: "Uh, Dallas, Texas." You: "Great, they have a group there too? How's business/the weather? Too bad the company has a policy against selling to employees. Oh well, see ya."

Remember the Seinfeld episode? … Tell the Telemarketer you are busy and if they will give you their phone number you will call them back. If they say they are not allowed to give out their number, then ask them for their home number and tell them you will call them at home (this is usually the most effective method of getting rid of Telemarketers). If the person says, "Well, I don't really want to get a call at home," say, "Yeah, now you know how I feel." (smiling, of course...)


He called it "Tactics To Fight Junk-Peddlers (Telemarketers and Junk Mailers" … the following amusing little tidbit has been attributed to Andy Rooney. Even though I can't find actual proof that these tips came from the outspoken 60 Minutes commentator, I can't find actual proof that he didn't, either. In any case, they're still pretty darned funny, no matter the source:

The three little words that work are: "Hold on, Please..." Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt. Then, when you eventually hear the phone company's "beep-beep-beep" tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task. These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.

Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a "real" salesperson to call back and get someone at home. What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Since doing this, my phone calls have decreased dramatically.

Another Good Idea: When you get "ads" enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these "ads" with your payment. Let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away. When you get those "pre-approved" letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope. Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular postage "IF" and when they receive them back. It costs them nothing if you throw them away. The postage, whatever it is at the time, is according to the weight. In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.

Another one of Andy Rooney's (alleged) ideas: Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back. If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing. Eventually, the banks and credit card companies will begin getting their own junk back in the mail.

Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it... twice. Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea. If enough people follow these tips, it will work.
macroman 15 15.3k England
16 Aug 2012 3:21PM
Had one from a 'survey' asking what dishwasher we used, told her it was none of her damned busiess and hung up. I was rather busy and didn't have the time for a wind up, but I did consider telling her that it is an Australian machine, a 'Wombat 5H 1T'. Grin
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
16 Aug 2012 3:35PM

Quote:Had one from a 'survey' asking what dishwasher we used, told her it was none of her damned busiess and hung up. I was rather busy

. . . doing the washing up.
16 Aug 2012 3:45PM
I like having a bit fun with the microsoft scam, I listen to their speil and make out I am getting a lttle mixed up on what key to press. Eventually they will ask what is on the screen and my response is usually Eastenders or Coronation street or some other tv program, this get's them really confused saying they have never heard of such a program, then they ask me what operating system I have, again I respond by STV or ITv, sometimes BBC. Eventually it dawns on them I'm describing the telly to them. At that point they usually become quite rude and tell me to do something to myself which is quite impossible. How rude can a caller get GrinGrinGrin
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
16 Aug 2012 3:48PM
I've literally just finished a call from one of these clowns.

Each time he said something to me, I contradicted him. He soon got fed up.
PinkK 8 80 1 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2012 4:13PM
I had one of those calls. I had only had my new laptop 2 days when they phoned. I simply snapped at him, told him there's nothing wrong, I did not want to speak to him and the conversation was ending now...and I hung up.

Caller display is great, if it's not a number I know I ignore it. If they had anything important to say they'd leave a message.

I do feel for the naive and vulnerable people who fall for these scams. I wish there was a way to protect them.
Big Bri 17 16.3k United Kingdom
16 Aug 2012 4:26PM
I let one give me the spiel then just said "Sorry I don't believe a word you just said". The next time, I told him his mother would be ashamed of him.
Gonna work my way through Mike's list if they call again.
Big Bri 17 16.3k United Kingdom
16 Aug 2012 4:30PM

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