Feb 09

10 ways to get revenge on cold callers

Cold callers are one of the miseries of modern living. But you don’t have to suffer in silence.

In fact you don’t have to suffer at all.

There are plenty of ways to get sweet revenge on cold callers, particularly the really dodgy ones who pretend to be computer experts who want to fix your computer (and then put a virus into it), or a boiler-room scam that wants to take all your savings from you.

In fact, here is info on how to spot a phone scam:

Don’t get mad, get even! Here are ten top ways to do it.


1. Make it illegal to phone you

One great way to start your revenge is to make it against the law to ring your number.

Register with the Telephone Preference Service online or by calling 0345 070 0707 and opt-out of receiving unsolicited sales calls.

Graphic man saying "Don't Call Me!"

It’s illegal under EU law to make cold calls to anyone registered with the TPS.

When any unwanted callers slips through, make them aware of this fact – it’s usually a quick and entertaining way to get rid!


2. Call their bluff

If you think they’re trying to scam you, ask them for their website or postal address, or whether they work for a registered UK company.

If they’re from a real company they should have no qualms about telling you the details.

Annoyed woman looking at her mobile phone

If they are a fraudster, threatening to check them out on the Companies House website should quickly send them packing. But if they persist, and you are still not sure, just put the phone down on them.


3. Play the game

If they ask “how are you today?”, go into great detail in your answer.

Tell them about your day so far – how you feel, what you ate for breakfast and so on.

If you have a bit of time and happen to get a call from one of those nasty fraudsters claiming to be from Windows, saying your computer has a virus – why not pretend you’re doing what they say?

Woman on the phone giggling

Obviously don’t really do it – just play along – and why not end with the punchline ‘Oh, I forgot, I have a Mac’.

That’ll probably make them leave you alone – just remember not to give out any of your personal details.

Read our article to find out more about the top ten phone scams and how to avoid them.


4. Time is money

Here’s a funny one – If the caller ask you for “five minutes of your time”, tell them that you charge £50 per hour and ask for their credit card details.

If they question whether you really do charge for your time, remind them that it is no different to what they are doing.

Pile of money overlay-ed with clock image


5. Just say yes

If you have the time and are feeling mischievous, entertain yourself by answering every question they ask by saying yes.

So even if they say “what’s your address?'”you answer “yes” And if they say “what’s your name?” you answer “yes”.

They will quickly get the message but the confusion in their voice after the first few minutes will certainly give you a laugh!

Redhead woman laughing on the phone

Keep yourself up-to-date with all the latest scams by visiting our Rip-off Britain section


6. Three small words

Feeling a bit cruel?

Ask the person on the end of the phone to “hold on, please…” before walking away and going back to whatever you were doing, leaving them hanging on.

It will be costing them time and money -good!

For maximum effect you should pretend to be interested before you ask them to wait, making them more likely to believe you’re going to return – that’ll teach them!


7. Keep it clean

This one should make them uncomfortable – tell them that you have just got out of the shower and will listen to them while you dry off. You could even give them a running commentary about your dry skin and how you need to cut your toenails as you speak.

They probably won’t stay on the phone for long!


8. Is anybody there?

Is there anything more frustrating than having rushed to the phone only to find out it’s an automated call with no voice on the other end?

If you get one of these calls it is probably a sales technique that tries to work out when a real person should call based on the time of day you pick up.

Cardboard robot making a phone call and making notes

If you get one of these calls, press the # button on your phone quickly six or seven times. It confuses the machine that called you and removes your number from their system.

They shouldn’t be disturbing you again!


9. Stay strong

Nothing frustrates an aggressive sales caller more than someone who is clearly not going to buy anything from them, whatever they say.

Little girl tensing her biceps

Be firm in the face of any pressurising sales techniques – however tempting the offers might sound.

In fact, don’t worry about being rude or causing offence. If they’re too annoying and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, just put the phone down on them.


10. If in doubt, don’t hang around

Even if you have registered with the TPS, unsolicited calls can still get through – always remind them that calling you is illegal.

Remember never to give out your details over the phone unless you are sure it is safe to do so. If in doubt, just hang up.

Woman putting phone down

Find out more ways here to get your own back on all kinds of spammers, fraudsters and con artists. 


Got your own tips for taking revenge on the telesales pests?

Let us know in the comments section below – particularly if you have some funny stories!


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21 thoughts on 10 ways to get revenge on cold callers

  1. I once did number 3 and unfortunately the bloke that called became very agressive and abusive when he realised I was having him on so I hung up, only for him to keep calling back every few minutes and shouting abuse at me. He keep ringing the phone all afternoon. I reported it to my telephone company and the police. He only stopped calling when my husband answered after getting in from work and told him we had reported it to the police. As fun as it might be to lead them on and waste their time, unfortunately it can backfire, so just a warning.

  2. Our young children are obsessed with the phone so when the caller ID is obviously fake, we put the phone on speaker and hand it straight to the kids. The kids love it and it is great hearing them try to reason with an 18 months old or get them to give the phone to their parents! Once we get bored (or they do) then the call is terminated.


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