Gotten so many your warranty has expired, now we have a leased car, total coverage, and an 03, feeling bad Is your wife there? No she died I said. Others I have said does it matter we are going through bankruptcy ( we are not) but still get so many spam calls, AITA? (for the internet impaired Am I The [jerk]?)
They can be downright annoying, caller ID helps. Try telling them you are going to prison
We screen calls and have assigned ring tones for people we actually will talk to . Those that I do answer I just say No Thank You and hang up. That job might be all they could find at the time while they are trying to find something else so why give them a hard time.
I don’t answer calls from numbers not in my contacts or I don’t recognize. If it is important, they will leave a voice mail. If they are spamming me, they usually won’t. I do still get robo-calls on my voice mail - sometimes in Chinese (?!?)
At home I look at caller ID and just don’t answer. But with my flip phone, I can’t tell who is calling until I answer it. One guy I said “oh thank heavens, a warranty. I’ve got 500,000 miles on my car.” He hung up. For the IRS or Microsoft hacks, I tell them they should be ashamed of themselves and get a regular job. Then sometimes I just hang on and don’t talk to tie their line up. Driving now though I can’t answer the phone anyway so I told the wife if she is calling, call twice and I’ll know it’s her and pull over. Ought to be a law. Maybe they can work on it now that they have reached their goal.
I rarely answer calls from numbers I don’t recognize.
The calls that are robo-spam I block so I don’t get further calls coming through from those numbers.
On the rare occasion I mistakenly answer a live telemarketer I firmly but politely interrupt and say that I don’t wish to be rude but that I never buy any goods or services from telemarketers, please take me off your calling list, and then hang up. It works surprisingly well for halting more calls from that particular telemarketer.
Some years ago i taught myself a few vulgar German words and phrases. That’s all they get as I play dumb to any English they recite. I can only imagine the looks on their faces before I slam the phone down.
Actually, in the 70’s, in our local “Pennysaver” ad booklet, there was an ad which started off with:
" Going to Jail. Must sell 1966 VW Beatle…"
Buying a car from someone going to prison… What could possibly go wrong?
When some major work was being done on my house several years ago I had a day I was very frustrated over an expensive structural issue that had been found and was muttering a few unladylike German words about the problem only to discover that my contractor overheard and knew exactly what I was saying.
I used to have fun with them with things like “I’d love one! Do you take credit? Good, because no one’s taken my credit in a long time,” etc. But now some of them are scam calls that record everything you say, and if you say “yes” or any synonym of it, they can use it to “prove” that you agreed to whatever hooey charges they slap on your phone bill.
Best practice these days is just to hang up without saying anything. Most of them are computers now anyway - even the ones that sound human - so messing with them has lost its lustre.
Unfortunately it’s not really possible anymore to answer the telephone these days. I maintain both a white-list – incoming numbers that will ring the phone and which I’ll pick up – and a black list – incoming numbers that won’t ring the phone and never get picked up. All the others don’t ring the phone but go to voice mail.
I heard on the radio-news today that there’s a big telephone scam going on right now where they tell you they are calling from your bank and need information to verify a transaction. I’ll only talk to someone from my bank if it is me who calls them, and at a telephone number I know is actually my bank.
I never answer if I don’t know the number. Just about no important issue will start with a cold call from someone I don’t know. If it’s actually important, they’ll leave a message.
I told a guy selling basement waterproofing that we stock ours with fish. I usually tell them “wait a minute, this sounds interesting, wait a minute while I get a pencil and paper” ther i quietly set the ohone down on the arm of my recliner until it starts making funny noises.
I’ve set up Nomorobo on my home phone and it’s basically stopped the telemarketer’s and scam calls. Works on Voip phone lines such as Xfinity
Our local columnist wrote about his technique. He would tell them he was interested in whatever they were offering, then say there was someone at the door and tell them hold on. Then he would come back in a few minutes and make sure they were still holding. Sometimes he could keep them strung along for 1/2 an hour.
Jerry Seinfeld’s method is saying “I’m really interested but don’t have time to talk now. I’ll call you back later tonight. What’s your home number?”
Nowadays, the overwhelming majority of telemarketing calls I receive are rob-dialed, and play a recording. There is no live person on the other end. Typically, if you listen to the whole recording, it will at some point say to “press 1 to speak to an operator” or something similar. I just hang up and add the number to my auto-reject list.
Another fun thing (if you have nothing important to do) is get to the human and speak only Spanish. They may connect you to someone that speaks Spanish. If they do, start speaking in German. Do this for however many languages you can speak. My brother knows several languages When he was home sick one day it was quite an entertaining 30 minutes or so.
Since I was able to get Caller I.D. last year at no extra charge, I rarely pick up the phone for a call whose number I don’t recognize. However, if I am in an obstinate mood, I will sometimes answer the call by shouting… Speak up! I can’t hear you!… into the receiver. I am careful to hold the earpiece away from my ear in case the person on the other end also decides to shout, but in the meantime their earpiece is channeling my shouting directly into the ear of these annoying pests.
“tlhIngan Hol Dajatlh’a?”
(Do you speak Klingon?)