zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
[personal profile] zeborah
I used to bait email scammers, from fake email addresses. The group I was part of would probably disapprove of baiting phone scammers from one's own phone number, but what's the worst that could happen?

(Inundated with scammers thinking I'm an easy target and having to change my phone number, possibly.)

So I've been trying to catch these people for a while, but for some reason they keep hanging up on me when I ask them to hold the line for a couple of minutes. :-(

However yesterday I kept one on the line long enough for them to start believing I'd fallen for their story. Also I kept failing to understand the instructions they gave me long enough I got passed on to a senior phone scammer. I forget his actual job title. His name's Roger, and he's been wonderfully patient with the fact that my computer is in a different room, so I keep having to make him hold for several minutes while I turn it on, and wait for it to start up, and painstakingly follow his instructions, and make mistakes, and have to start again, and now he wants me to buy a license for something so let me check how much money is in my bank account, oh dear, not enough, but maybe my brother can lend me some. So he hangs up to let me call my brother, but when he calls back I have to relate my brother's not back until later that evening, so we go back to him trying to install spyware on my computer and oh, sorry, but my internet's just so slow!

So all that kept him busy for an hour yesterday. (During the course of this I keep reading/coding/whatever while he patiently recites instructions at me or waits for me to get back from following them.)

Today he called as soon as I got home. (This leads me to suspect he'd been calling earlier too.) I let it ring, because I was pilling the cat and she was being fussier than usual. He called back three more times, and by then I'd finished drinking my hot chocolate so I answered it. My bus had been late, I told him. He wanted to know if I'd got the money so I said my brother agreed to transfer it but it's not in my account yet. So we switched back to trying the spyware thing. First he wanted me to install ammyy (so he can take control of my computer) via the start menu. That "didn't work" so we tried doing it via internet explorer.

(For the record, I use Firefox on a Mac.)

Next I "got an error". After a while we worked out it was a hilarious miscommunication about the spelling. So I tried again and it did a google search and the results talked about some scam!!!! This was the best, he talked for several minutes trying to reassure me while I read everything in my RSS feed reader and occasionally (every time he was winding down) said that I was really concerned about this. So eventually he convinced me it was safe and I tried it again. (Okay, really I watched a kinky video and caught up on Twitter.)

Unfortunately for him I proved hopeless at following instructions, so after a while he gave up on that and we started trying some other product www.support.me. Again I prove hopeless at following instructions. He's getting really frustrated by now, being pretty polite but telling me I need to do it faster so the code he gives me for the software doesn't expire. So I finally succeed at starting to download the software and my computer crashes! :-( At which he loses patience and tells me to hang up, restart my computer, and he'll call me back in quarter of an hour.

About ten minutes later I thought, nah, and took the phone off the hook. When I've had my dinner and feel interested in talking to him again I can just tell him my brother called and he's worried about transferring the money to me after all because he heard it's a scam, etc.

In the meantime I've wasted at least two hours of their time, maybe three depending on whether he got any work done between trying to phone me all those times. This should translate to saving a few dozen people from having their evenings interrupted.

Hmm, what for dinner? <off to hunt in the kitchen>

Date: 2014-06-19 09:42 am (UTC)
deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)
From: [personal profile] deird1
Hee! I love your awesome brain. :)

Date: 2014-09-08 03:25 pm (UTC)
heleninwales: (computer typing)
From: [personal profile] heleninwales
I sometimes try to waste a little of their time if I'm in the mood, but you deserve some kind of award for that achievement.

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