People From Around The World Share How They Messed With Phone Scammers

People From Around The World Share How They Messed With Phone Scammers

Is there anything more annoying than getting phone calls from telemarketers? It's endlessly frustrating -- especially since so many of them are plainly scams.

For some people, simply hanging up is enough. But the folks below decided to take things a bit further and mess around with the telemarketers and scammers who interfered with their privacy.

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40. Trying to scam the ultimate scammers

"Hello! We'd like to offer you a free trip to Las Vegas..."

"Sir. Are you aware that you just called the emergency line of a Department of Energy Research Facility?"

"Um, ah, I..."

"We need to keep this line clear. You will add us to your do no call list. If I receive another call from your company I will report this upstairs."


It helps that I'm not lying. I do work at a DOE Lab, and part of my job is to answer the site's emergency line (not 911), and direct/dispatch emergency units when emergencies do happen (and they do). We have had telemarketers call that line, I have used this technique, and if I absolutely needed to I could kick this up to my boss and it would wind up on a desk in Washington.

If it's an automated call, I redirect it to a computer that reads off the time and weather. That way the scammer's computer might think that someone's on the line and won't hang up right away.

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39. The con and the convict

I got a call from one of those "You've been selected for a free trip to the Bahamas" scammers. I told her that I couldn't do that right now. "Oh no sir, you don't understand. It's free you just need to..."

"No, no, I understand that ma'am. It's just, I'm currently under federal investigation and cannot leave the country..."



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38. I'll give you a model alright

I would receive a specific one 9 times out of 10. "Your car warranty is about to expire, press 1 if you'd like to be connected to a representative."

So I would oblige, wait for someone to come on the line and say "Make, model and year of your vehicle," which I usually followed up with "2013 HasBro ATV” or “2017 Little Tikes Tricycle" or something of that nature. I must have become a famous caller because they only called maybe 6 times after I started doing that and they always started with. "Oh look who it is."

Eventually, it just stopped. I assume it's because they were tired of wasting their time on someone who was wasting their time.

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37. I demand a 50% refund

I get a call from a random pharmaceutical company saying that my supply if Viagra is ready for pick up. I told him that I had a complaint regarding the Viagra. I said that I only took half a pill and now only half of my junk was hard. Now my base is hard but the tip was soft and I was furious. I kept going on this rant for about a minute or so and then they hang up. Happened twice and my friends are still laughing.



36. You're now technically a DJ

Here’s what you do. Answer the phone. Connect to an agent, mute your phone, and carry on with what you were doing. They quickly take you off their diallers when you waste their agents’ time.

I now do a more advanced version of this tactic. I answer, connect, mute the same, but when a person picks up and starts speaking I rapid fire press numbers on my keypad until they hang up.

My favorite response to it has been, "Beautiful song sir, we won't call again."

They called again.


35. Eight pounds

I'm sure another scammer will call again since it's just an act that all of them do, but I got a social security scam call. They told me they had found 22 pounds of coke in a Toyota Camry with some blood in the front seat because they always say that exact line. I responded:

"Oh my god that's terrible!"

"So are you telling me that this was not you who left the car there?"

"No, that was me but I had 30 pounds in that car. Are you telling me that 8 pounds just went missing?"

So he was very confused and I was accusing him of stealing it, then he started swearing at me until he hung up.

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34. Now you also owe them a bunch of time

I used to get a lot of unsolicited calls from a company who could 'sort my debt'.

I got a call from them one day when I wasn't doing much at home, so decided to have some fun. I gave a false name, false address (which they couldn't find on their system - I convinced them it was a new build eventually).

I then went through my 'debts' meticulously, had them waiting while I 'found the paperwork' etc. Some of the 'debts' were for my gender reassignment, and then reverting back because I changed my mind.

30 - 40 minutes later and I had over $300k debt, and was able to pay up to $4,000 per month to clear it with them.

The woman on the phone got her boss (because it was such a big contract), and when the boss lady got on the phone, I told her I made it all up.

I kid you not, she told me I was wasting their time! And that I shouldn't do that - then hung up on me.

Never heard from them again.

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33. Round and round and round we go

I got a call, started reeling off this massive script. Finished probably after 2 minutes of solid talking, and I politely sat through the whole thing.

I paused and said "... Sorry?"

She said "again" and started the whole script again from the start.

Another 2 minute solid talk-wall later, I said "... Sorry?"

This time, there was a bit of frustration in her voice. "AGAIN" and once again did the whole 2 mins again, aggressively this time.

"... Sorry?"

“[Bleep] this,” and the call ended.

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32. Friends don't scam friends, my friend

I tried to troll a guy who was clearly calling people to get their bank account information by saying they were giving away money to help college students. He was from overseas and was dedicated to his job. I tried to tick him off for about 30 minutes but he kept interrupting me and I eventually told him to [bleep] off and hung up the phone. He kept cutting me off saying, “BUT MY FRIEND...MY FRIEND!”

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31. Question and answer

Make up outrageous lies to their questions.

How much would you say you spend on your energy bills each month? "Oh, about $1200"

How big is your house? "About 5500 square feet."

How many people live there? "Just me, but I have about 25-30 cats depending on the day."

Is your home powered by electricity? "Nope. Hydrogen fuel cells. It's part of a NASA experiment. My uncle works there, that's how I got in on it."

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30. Shoulda tried chocolate milk

I told the last car warranty telemarketer that it was great that they called because my car was acting up.

“How long has it had problems?” she said.

“Ever since I went to the gas station and filled my tank up with milk,” I said, with a dumb, confused persona.

“Why would you fill your car up with milk?

“Because my brain told me to.”



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29. Hot potato, pass it on

At our shop one of us will answer scam calls and say, “Oh you need to talk to Dave about that. Hold on." Then Dave will get on in a minute or so and say, “That's above my pay grade. Lemme transfer you to chuck," and so on and so forth, around and around.

The record? We transferred the guy eight times. At one point he was on mute for fifteen minutes, and I was listening to the call. Dude literally says, "I think these people are messing with us." But then he still took three more transfers to hang up angrily. Loved wasting their time!

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28. Laptop to the bottom

I got a call about my wife’s laptop from "Microsoft". I acted confused, asking if they are from help desk or what because it's a work laptop. After a bit told them I work for (big tech company) and if my laptop is having problems it should be HR calling me. They panicked and hung up; pretty sure she hasn't gotten another one since.

Didn't help that she didn't own a laptop (she only had her company one) and that mine was a Mac, so we literally didn't own a Windows box at the time.


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27. He's already covered, but not how you think

Not me, but my Grandma. After Grandpa died, she started getting phone calls in the evening from an insurance agent trying to sell her insurance for her husband. She’s very polite, but she always says “no thank you,” before she hangs up the phone. This goes on for almost a week. Grandma is really beside herself about these calls, and she tells my mom how upset she is with this man.

One evening, I guess the guy was really impatient with her, and before Grandma could say “no thank you,” the agent asked her, “But ma’am, you need your husband to be covered! Don’t you care if he’s covered?”

To which she promptly replied, “He is covered! With six feet of dirt! Is that enough coverage for you?”

The man hung up on her and didn’t call again. Grandma really was a nice lady, and she was embarrassed that she lost her temper with that guy. My sisters and loved that story.

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26. Duct taped

I kept getting calls from the "duct cleaning" people. I told them I don't have ducts, I have geese... They just hung up on me and haven't bothered me since.

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25. You never know who you're calling

About once or twice a week I would get the "Microsoft Support" phone call. For about 3 weeks, I would hang up on them. After about a month of this, I decided to jack with them. I let them give their line about how my computer is sending them error, blah, blah, blah, blah. I kept responding with, "interesting", "ok", "fascinating", etc.

When they said that they wanted to connect to my computer, I told them that this would be difficult. They asked why, I told them that they called the server room for the Pentagon. I do not think I have ever heard anyone hang up quicker.

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24. The red hot line

I always hit the button to speak with a person or get more info, or sometimes they call with a live person to begin with. I put on my ‘smoky’ low voice and say, "Hey baby, how you doin'?" They usually hang up immediately. If not, my next response to whatever they say is "that sounds really hot, what are you wearing?"

Pretty close to 100% hang up and don't call back.

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23. I need to ensure my jaguar

This morning I got one of the car warranty ones. I told them I had a 1983 Toyota Mustang. They told me to have a nice day and hung up.

I think next time I'm going to try to get a warranty for my jaguar, and watch as they slowly realize that not only am I not talking about the car company, I have also mistaken my standard-sized domestic cat for a much larger cat.

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22. Pay my bills in gift cards?

I used to work in a restaurant and we would get scam calls saying we need to pay them now or they are going to cut off the businesses power. They would claim they had their person outside right now but if we pay them in gift cards now they wouldn’t cut it. The craziest thing is the caller ID would even show up as the power company’s name.

So we always knew it was them calling and would take turns messing with them. We would always play along and say we were going to get them and so on, and then as soon as we claim to have the gift card and they are ready to take the numbers we’d go, “Oh, wait, I’ll just pay this online”

They would instantly hang up.

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21. Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Basically be a contrarian.

I got a call from the "IRS" one time saying I owed them tons of money or I would go to jail. I told them I had already been to jail and wasn't afraid of going back.

They said they would repo all my possessions and I told them I was basically homeless and didn't own anything.

They said they would contact my family and try to get the money from them. I told them I was adopted and didn't have a real family.

The last thing he told me was that he was in the process of contacting the police and I told him I was already at the police station.

He hung up pretty angrily.


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20. Let me fix it so I can steal it

I had one claiming to be a Microsoft support technician and I told him

"Thank God you called! I was gonna take my computer to the shop tomorrow its gone all blue!"

"All blue...? Well have you tried..."

Then the dude actually spent a load of time to help me fix my computer just so he could then scam me.

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19. Bought you a couple months at least

Told them that I was a member of their branch a floor above them and that they misdialed.

They said “[Bleep] you” and hung up. Didn’t get a call back from them for a few months.

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18. No recording, please

Whenever they intro with, “This is so and so on a recorded line..”

I always politely say, “I do not consent to being recorded or monitored” (Or something along those lines.) It’s always fun how flustered they get and not sure of what to do. They usually hang up and don’t call back again.

I don’t even know if they need my consent to record me, but it seems to work.

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17. "Stopped calls to my classroom"

I answer the phone as detective so and so, then I ask them who they are and why they called the number in a very stern and cop like manner, then I ask them where they are and act like I am giving the information to someone else who is contacting Interpol. I ask a few more questions about their relationship to the number and advise anyone who has not already hung up, that they are to stay put and wait for Interpol to arrive for interrogations. Stopped calls to my classroom.

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16. The whistleblower

I had this problem for a month on a land line before I could figure out how to block it. The guy was harassing me and constantly calling me back just so he can access my computer. It got to the point that he would call back right after I hanged up.

I finally looked up how to block a number on a land line in the phone book, bought a safety whistle, then blew the whistle in their ear drums before blocking the number.

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15. Giving the finger

I recently discovered that rubbing your finger over the speaker on your phone generates the most terrifying and demonic sound that's ever come out of a phone. Pair that with some whispering and maybe a little latin and you can really spook people.

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14. If you're wondering, ligma is a fake disease

I kept getting robocalls about car warranty stuff, so whenever they would come on the line I'd say I own a 2016 Chevy Ligma. Most of the time they would hang up. One time it happened that it was an older lady, so I hear her in the background asking coworkers about "What's a Chevy Ligma?" I hear someone tell her to hang up.

About a week later I get a call from the same people. I tell the guy, it's a 2018 Chevy Ligma. He just sighs and says, "Man they got in the system as a 2016 and I can't believe someone put that in there, you think that stuff is funny? Ligma balls, ligma nuts, you need to grow up." I was laughing too hard to say anything at that point. I haven't heard from them since.

Other great things to do: act really interested in whatever they are selling, but tell them your phone is about to die and request a number you can call them back at. If they give it to you, harass the crap out of them, then if they send you to voicemail leave messages like you're their party bro and you just scored a bag of coke. Most of these calls are monitored.

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13. Let them try to scam each other

I have a scammer number saved that usually answers within the first few rings when you call them back. Anytime I get a scammer call that isn't from that number, I call it, and then conference the two calls together and let them talk to each other. Similar to the pranks on Chinese Restaurants.

Most of the time they don't stay on long enough for it to be funny and just hang up.

Sometimes they speak to each other in their own languages.

But every once in a while they start fighting with each other and that has me on the floor in tears.


12. To the Windows, to the wall

We get these at work constantly so I am excited to try some these responses! Here are some of mine:

If they start asking for the owner of the company or general manager (me) I just repeat "I can take a message." until they hang up. Sometimes they start asking for the owner/GM name and I keep on with "I can take a message." They get so angry and its wonderful.

My favorite though, and I stole this from my aunt, is the following:

"We've found a problem with your Windows."

"Okay, hang on one second and let me check." *come back 5min later* "Alright sir, I checked and all my windows are closed and locked. There doesn't seem to be any problem."

"No, the Windows on your computer. I need you to get on your computer."

"I can't get on my computer, I'll break it!"

"Just open Windows and I'll walk you through some simple steps."

"Sir, it is 20 degrees outside and I am not opening my windows."

"No, on your computer."

And just keep going like that.

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11. I'm sorry, I kee- ... -tting out

Pretend that you're having connection issues.

"Yeah it's a MasterCard, number two-three-se-.......-four-eight."

Just keep pretending to drop the connection every time they ask for crucial information.


10. Charlie, you're cut off

So there's a scam going around that targets elderly people, where the person calls up and pretends to be a grandchild who got involved in an accident in another country, and needs $500 to be wired to them so they can come back home or whatever. They usually get the "is this X" response, and say "yeah" since they don't actually have a name.

My grandma got this a few months back, but we had mentioned it to her. So, she says "Is this Charlie?" and the person says back, "Yeah, grandma, it's Charlie."

So she says, "I don't have any relatives named Charlie" and hangs up.


9. People who try to scam this way are particularly disgusting

Few years ago we kept getting sales calls for donations for Breast Cancer research. Would tell them no thanks - next night same call. We started getting suspicious because it sounded like the same voice every night, they would never say what breast cancer charity they're affiliated with, they requested money orders or cash because they won't have to "pay bank fees" and the number was always blocked. A lot of red flags.

I decided to mess with the woman on the other end. One night I answered and she started her same routine. I start asking questions. Will I get to see the breasts I'm donating to? Can I motor boat them? If I donate more will I get to see more? Then I kicked it up a notch and started asking to see the lady who has been calling for weeks if I can see hers, then I started trying to guess her size. She finally hung up on me at that point.

My wife was mortified of my solution but the calls stopped. I'm either a monster or there's some scammer that felt really dirty after a conversation with me. But I'm 99% certain it's the latter.

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8. If he dies, he dies

There was a scam going around back in my high school days where the scammer will call the parents, pretending to be a hospital staff, saying that their child fell down the stairs at school or something and they need x amount of money transferred to this (scam) account. My parents actually got a call from these guys but they were wise enough to double check by calling the hospital/school.

Now my friends' dad, on the other hand, upon hearing the scammers' claims, said, "Oh he's dying? Let him die." And hung up the phone.

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7. Morbid but effective

Got a call from a college someone in my family had no interest in attending. It was a BS call. Answered the phone with, “City Morgue, how can I help you?"

Doesn't even faze this guy, he just goes on. "Hi, is (blank) there?"

"I don't know man lemme check the toe tags.”

Now it's pretty obvious he has no idea what to do and just pauses, then keeps going, “Do you know when they'll be there?"

"I don't know man we get a lot of bodies."

At that point the guy just hung up.

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6. Dad sold the salesman

My Dad actually helped a telemarketer once.

TM : "Hello is this Mr. ... [he struggles to pronounce our name] Sorry about that, I have a hard time reading."

Dad : "Yes. Hey you know they have surgery for eyes that can make them like new? I got it once and I see great now."

TM : "Really? How do they do it?"

Dad : "They use lasers or something." (Dad was old and did not know what lasers were but it was what he was told when he got surgery.)

TM : "Wow, I gotta look into that."

The guy then says bye, completely forgetting that he supposed to sell my Dad something.

A month or so later my Dad got a call from him saying that he got the surgery and he could see great, and thanked him.

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5. Cockney caller

I'm married to an American, live in the USA, but I still sound like I've just got off the train in Hitchin (Hertfordshire, England).

So I just talk to them in the broadest Norf Lahndan accent I can. Throw in a lot of slang they don't know. It's great when they're asked, "if we get this, and a fortnight later a little bird tells us the rozzers had a go at someone pulling this stunt on some Countdown watching biddy, do we give you a bell and tell you we had the cocoa to knock it on the head, like? Or do you get on the dog to us, because I haven't got a Danny what the [bleep], you know what I'm saying?"

If they don't understand, I just say it slower.

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4. Grandpa was a dealmaker

This question reminds me of my grandfather. He use to get calls from scammers and try to sell them stuff. A conversation would go something like:

Scammer: “Hello sir, we wanted to let you know that you are eligible for a discount on your life insurance policy. All you have to do is give us some information and we will apply the discount. “

My Pap: “Great! Just give me one minute...” (Holds for a minute). “So I have this 1997 Chevy Cavalier. She has high miles and a little rust on the door, but I can part with her for...a grand? You interested?”

Scammer: “No thank you sir. But back to where we were. I just need you name, address and social security number to veri-“

My pap: “Boy you drive a hard bargain. How about $750? That’s more than fair.”

Scammer: “ Sorry sir, I’m not interested. Like I was saying...”

My pap: “$500!”

Scammer: “Sir!”

My pap: “$450. Heck, at this point I’m practically giving it away!”

Scammer: “Sir I don’t want-“

My pap: “Okay, $450 it is. Phew, you drive a hard bargain. Now all I need from you is your name, address, and social security number and we are set.”

Scammer: “Have a nice day. (Click)”.

I use to love staying at my grandparents house and hearing him do stuff like this. Thanks for reminding me of some great memories.

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3. Hernia and her

After I had my first child, I kept getting calls about how the netting they used for my hernia surgery was being recalled and that I could get a lot of money. If I took the time to talk them. I told them that I have never had that surgery and that it must be a mistake. They asked if I was in the hospital on blank day? I said yes but because I had a baby not because I had any surgery. It looks like their records are mistaken and to please take me off the list.

I thought that was that. I got a phone call 3x a week for months. Having the same exact conversation each time. I would say, take me off this list right now and I want to speak to your manager. They would hang up! I COULD TELL IT WAS THE SAME GUY!! Finally after almost a year of this crap, I was sitting in the car waiting for an appointment. I was pretty early and had a lot of time to kill. They call me again. 

Me: You have made a mistake. Take me off this list and I want to talk to whoever is in charge.

He hung up! I realized that I actually had their number in my phone. So I called him.

Me: I have your number now. I am not going to stop calling until you let me talk to your manager!

Him: Ma’am, please do not call this phone again as this is my personal cell phone.

Oh man! It was so on when he told me this. I repeated to call his number over 20 times. Each time he answered I said the same thing.

Me: I have your number now. I am not going to stop calling until you let me talk to your manager or take me off this list for real.

At one point he even said I was mistaken and he knows I had hernia surgery.

After what felt like the millionth call, a woman answered.

Her: Why do you keep harassing one of my employees?

Me: I have told your employee that he has the wrong person and to take me off this list. He refuses to believe me and has been calling me 3 times a week for the past 8 months.

Her: Ma’am he is calling you because you are on our list and he can help you.

Me: I have his number now and if you want me to stop you need to take me off this list and never call again. If you do not, I will call him every minute I have a chance! I spend a lot of time in my car waiting for clients to meet me. So you guys will be hearing from me a lot.

Her: (long pause) Alright ma’am I took you off the list. Please don’t call hear again.

They never called again.

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2. Exorcising the telemarketers

I managed to stop the Indian "Microsoft customer service " scammers from calling me. The calls were getting pretty bad earlier this year, probably four a day from the same people, usually the same person.

I finally got tired of it and decided that I was going to mess with them. So the next time they called, I told them that I had all Apple products. Well, what do you know, a few minutes after we hung up, "apple customer service " called to tell me that my computer had a virus. Cue my response: "Apple? Why is Apple calling me? I only use Windows products." The guy cursed at me and hung up.

This little charade went on for a few days, with him getting angrier and angrier each time. He said he was going to cut off my face and wear it one time. I told him that I would feel pretty sorry if he did, because then he would be even uglier than he is now. That was the last I heard from that particular guy, as they switched over to having a woman call me after that (though I could clearly hear him ranting about me in the background during one phone call).

I kind of feel sorry for the woman, because I had hatched a master plan to get the calls to stop, and she just so happened to have drawn the short straw to call my house that day.

Her: "Hello, this is Microsoft customer support. Ma'am, I am calling you today to tell you that your computer has a virus. "

Me: "Computer? I don't own a computer. "

Her: "Oh, I am sorry. Not your computer. Your tablet."

Me: "I don't own one of those either. "

Her: "Well how do you get on the internet?"

Me: "The internet? Why would I want to get on the internet? We don't allow any of the devil's technology in this house. The internet is a tool of satan. I refuse to use it. I will not touch any piece of technology that can access it. How dare you imply that I would fill my life with sin by having a computer. I rebuke that idea."

I then ranted about technology being of the devil for several minutes, offered to perform an exorcism for her to rid her of the technological demons she'd opened herself to, even pretended to speak in tongues at one point.

At first she kept trying to interrupt me and continue on with her spiel, but I didn't really let her. By the end she was speechless. She managed to stutter an apology and hung up, and I haven't been bothered by either Microsoft or Apple customer support in probably six months.

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1. Yuran Eedwah gets the last laugh

This is more to do with telemarketers, but it's the same general idea.

My family had a bit of an amusing litmus test for ferreting out unwanted callers before they could run through their spiel. Our last name -- while easy enough to pronounce -- looks like it requires one to imitate the sound of an engine block exploding... and that's just the first syllable. As a result, folks who don't personally know us often have trouble getting it right on the first try, and this led to our household rule:

If someone on the telephone mispronounces our last name, then they're fair game.

Now, granted, this occasionally resulted in some hilarious misunderstandings, but it was an effective enough tactic for the most part. My parents were absolutely fine with letting me answer calls from "Unknown Number," too, which gave me ample opportunity to improvise counterattacks. Perhaps my best attempt came one evening when I was thirteen years old, as I ran through the following exchange:

"Good evening, Mister... Mister..." the man on the phone began.

"Oh!" I interrupted, feigning a ridiculous accent that was somewhere between Indian and Swedish. "Yes, yes! You are knowing that I have just purchased this phone number!"

"This isn't Mister, uh..."

"No! No, no, no, no, no!" I hurriedly interrupted again. "No, the name you are having is being incorrect! I am Mister Yuran Eedwah!"

There was a brief pause from the other end. "Well, Mister Eedwah... you said you just purchased this telephone number?"

"Yes!" I gushed. "Yes, yes, oh, yes! It is so nice to be calling all of my friends and family, because they are living still in Jeirheinia now!" (Don't bother looking for "Jeirheinia" on a map. You won't find it.)

"Ah, I see!" replied the telemarketer. "And are you happy with your long-distance provider?"

In response, I offered only a sputtering cough and gibberish.

"And what if I told you," the telemarketer continued, "that you could pay up to 50% less than you are now for your long-distance phone service?"

"Yes!" The shriek even hurt my ears, and I was the one who'd offered it. "Yes, yes, yes! Tell me! Tell me, please! How can I be having this low price?!"

"Hah, well," answered the telemarketer, "let me take down some information, and we'll get you started! What did you say your name was, again?"

"Yuran Eedwah."

"Great. How do you spell that?"

I'm sure the smirk on my face was audible through the phone. "U-R-A-N," I said, "I-D-I-O-T."

"Got it. Now, then, Mister Eedwah, do you have a..."

"I am sorry!" I interrupted (yet again). "Can you please to be reading back how you spelled my name? I am not hoping for mistakes!"

"Oh, of course!" the telemarketer replied. "U-R-A-N, I-D-I... oh, [bleep] you."

The last thing that poor fellow heard was the sound of "Yuran Eedwah" cackling with evil mirth.