According to a recent report by Truecaller, around 68.4M Americans (26%) have fallen victim to a phone scam in the past 12 months. While the numbers are rising, so is awareness, as some of the biggest scams in America are continually exposed in the media to prevent people from falling for fraud. In fact, people opt for various ways of dealing with scammers. Most hang up, others download robocall blocker apps, and, well, some give them a taste of their own medicine.

A while back, someone asked the Ask Reddit community, "What is something you say to scammers instead of hanging up?" Over 15K people jumped on the thread to share their experiences replying to scammers. From funny replies to scammers to scammers getting pranked themselves, people shared how to reply to scammers in many original ways. Hanging up is one way of reacting; however, taking time to respond is, in fact, doing a public service. Sure, you might be wasting your time, but at the same time, you are wasting scammers', meaning less time to find more victims to prey on.

Below, we've compiled some of the best replies from the thread featuring people pranking scammers themselves. Make sure to upvote the responses to scammers you enjoyed the most, and let us know whether you reply to scammers!

#1

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "My grandfather let them do their whole speech for about 20 minutes. He then told them he didn't have his hearing aid in and asked if they could repeat it all. They hung up immediately."

meat_frog , Gustavo Fring Report

#2

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Had a very pushy insurance salesman want my address so he could meet me in person to better show the value of his products or some nonsense. I gave him the address of a brothel. Got an angry call back a couple of days later saying that I gave him the wrong address. I told him I thought he was looking for someone to screw over and then hung up on him."

dirkjently , Ged Carroll Report

#3

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Depends on the scam call. Recently I’m getting a lot of “we’re calling in regards to your recent car accident” I relied on “how dare you! I died in that accident!”"

Roaming_Pie , Dominika Kwiatkowska Report

#4

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Scammer was Indian, I'm Indian, I put on my Indian accent then accused him of putting on a bad fake Indian accent to make fun of me and told him he should be ashamed of himself. It was a few seconds of fun."

atomjohn , R4vi Report

#5

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Just start chanting in Latin. Most hang up quickly. One begged me not to curse her family."

Ahshalon_Tenisk , Daniele Levis Pelusi Report

#6

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "You've reached the FBI telephone fraud division, how may I help you?"

TreePretty , m01229 Report

#7

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Mr. Smashing Stuff, I'm calling about an accident you were involved in that wasn't your fault."

"Oh it wasn't an accident, I meant to hurt those people."

The pause you get before being immediately escalated to a 'manager' is like a crack to me."

Smashing_stuff , Andrea Piacquadio Report

#8

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I once got a scammer to say "I love you too." It was one of those resort/vacation calls and I kept him in the line for his whole spiel. When he asked who else would be vacationing with me, I asked if he would go with me. I was like, ”It will save on airfare because you're already there.” Ended up with him saying he had to end the call and I was like, ”Okay. I love you.” And he reflexively goes ” I love you too". The high point of my life."

soupsweats , Nataliya Vaitkevich Report

#9

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I have two things I do. 1) I try to sell them WiFi. I personally have nothing to do with internet services. But I can guarantee that my services are the cheapest in town and seeing as how you called me you must be interested. Now before you think “man I’m really not gonna get as good a deal as I’d like.” I can promise no buffers and high-quality streaming at a fraction. Yes, you heard it a fraction of what you currently are paying, if you just give me your first and last name we can get the ball rolling. No one has ever lasted that one.

2) in a very heavy southern accent. “Now the lord spoke to me today and he told me that I’d be bringing another one of his lambs that had been led astray back into the flock, I’m gonna open this conversation with a prayer real quick.” Most people hang up. Some and very few last through my 10-minute prayer. After that, I go straight into asking about their addictions and why the lord is telling me about how their browser history is causing demons to enter their home."

fooourskin , Tima Miroshnichenko Report

#10

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I whisper into the mic to make them turn the volume on their headsets up then suddenly start yelling."

tantalizingGarbage , Braxton Apana Report

#11

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Me - do you believe in our lord and savior Jesus Christ? Them - yes

Me - he wants you to quit calling."

IMissTexas , Franck Denis Report

#12

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Hello, sir. This is the Microsoft Office. We're calling to inform you that your computer is infected with a virus."

"My computer?"

"Yes, sir. And if you do not take steps to correct it we will be forced to shut down your system remotely."

"Which one?"

"What?"

"Which computer? I have a couple."

"The one running Microsoft Windows."

"They all run Microsoft Windows."

"Yes, well, I am showing they are all infected." (you can literally hear him salivate.)

"So you're monitoring my systems right now?"

"Yes."

"Despite the fact that doing so is a violation of multiple federal laws?"

*Click*

Casual-Notice , Kai Hendry Report

#13

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I always screech "welcome to shining dragon buffet you place an order" if they ask anything else I get angrier and go "YOU CALL SHINING DRAGON BUFFET, PLACE ORDER OR GET OFF MY PHONE". I'll probably get into trouble one day but its a lot of fun."

demonardvark , Franklin Heijnen Report

#14

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I once saw caller ID (landline days) with a number that I figured was a telemarketer. In a “tough” voice, without saying hello I asked, “Is he dead?” And about a beat and a half later I said, “Because if he ain’t dead, don’t you even think about coming back here.” Then what sounded like a young woman on the other end said, “Um, uh, uh Bye!” Hope she had as much fun telling her friends as I had telling mine."

About_Yeah_High , Martin Zaenkert Report

#15

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I keep them on the phone for as long as humanly possible. I switch up the conversation, ask questions, stray completely off topic, slip in a few personal questions and just do whatever I can do to waste as much of their time as I can. My personal record is over 15 minutes of useless conversation which ended with me trying to proposition the male caller for sex. (For the record, I am a straight male and I assume that the caller was also straight.) I've been able to get an Indian telemarketer named Allen or Alex to give me his real name and location, and one telemarketer to stray from the script and admit that like me, he's also tried drugs. In one instance I was able to get the caller to admit that she hated her job and was only doing it to put herself through school. As much as I despise getting calls, I also try to remind myself that they are human beings, doing a job that everyone hates them for, and they probably hate themselves. I figure, at least perhaps I'll give them something fun to talk about after they get off of work."

Lobo-rojo , Tim Parkinson Report

#16

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "If they are calling about windows and doors, I tell them I live in a tent. "You are calling a tent, did you know this?" If they call about HVAC, I tell them I live in a castle, and we heat it in the wintertime by burning witches."

aaronpbentley , Oskar Karlin Report

#17

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "My new thing is to heavily troll them for as long as possible. If they're going to waste my time with endless calls, well then I'm going to do the same. Here's a good one - I recently encountered a very low-tech health insurance scam that used an actual phone line and not a spoof. I called them back literally over 1000 times for two days straight and eventually got to the main person. He actually pleaded for me to stop calling and apologized profusely, lol it was very satisfying."

reddit.com , Antoni Shkraba Report

#18

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I can't talk right now, I'm actually here to rob the place."

TheStabbyBrit , Trap Gang Report

Henry Russell
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

cool then you need the crowbar 2000. it makes breaking into places easier and quicker

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#19

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses “HELLO, caller number two! You’re on with The Sturge at numbitty 902 WA3DFM. What do you have to say about the Lizard Illuminati?”

me_vicky , Robert Koorenny Report

#20

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I usually get the duct cleaning guys calling so I will just yell out to my wife and ask if the ducks need to be cleaned. I will respond back that we are good. They will keep pressing and I will keep playing on them eventually I will be like the ducks are cleaned but if they have any fix for the quacking that would help. The call ends right after."

techdude12019 , Mohamed Salim Nashwan Report

#21

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I pretend to be the dumbest guy in the world.

Them - “You should update your home's security”

Me - “Like how?”

Them - “A camera on the front door is a good st..”

Me (interrupts) - “Front door? My front door is on the side of my house. How will that work? Do you have a side door camera?”

Them - “Yes sir of course. We have many dif...”

Me (interrupts again) - “PHEW! I have looked for so long for a side front door camera salesman. You, sir, are my savior. Are you married?”

reddit.com Report

Henry Russell
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

thanks for the offer but im gooing to have to decline

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#22

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "You’ve reached your local morgue, you slice ‘em, we dice ‘em. How can we help you?"

ohsnap-thats-me , RODNAE Productions Report

Henry Russell
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

hello welcome to timmys pizzaeria where yesterdays loss is todays sauce how can i help you

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#23

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I used to get a lot of “home security” calls offering alarm systems and cameras. I would of course ask all the curious questions and then lead them to believe I was using the alarm system and cameras to keep people inside the house."

d_hens , Photon JPG Report

Henry Russell
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

dont want them escaping again am i right then i have to go through all the hassle of grabbing them and putting bear traps at the top

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#24

"I got the IRS call on my day off one day while sitting on the porch. You know the deal. If you don't get X amount of Visa Gift Cards the police will come etc. So I stayed in the line for like an hour playing dumb- like saying which target do I shoot to get the gift cards cuz I'm at the gun range, do I have to drive or can I order online, etc- then since my morning coffee had begun to do its work and it was getting hot outside? So the guy once again told me if I don't comply the cops will come. I say send them. He says oh no, all we need is 2k or whatever it was. I say no again, and this time he tells me the police are on the way. I say where I can see the local station from my house. I'm told they are undercover (why? It's an IRS thing but I digress). I tell him since they aren't here I'll just go turn myself in and that I'm walking there. Cue panic on the other line. Saying everything he can to get me to go to Target (even Walmart works now!), I tell him too late just got to the station (bathroom), and that I'm gonna put him on with the desk clerk so they know how to book me. The dude hung up immediately. Which was a bummer, cuz I was about to pull out a wicked Boston accent and play dirty cop. But instead, I continued with the coffees work.

MJ134 Report

corgiobsessed00
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

almost fell for the IRS one they woke me up from a nap on my day off. about had a mental breakdown.

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#25

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I sometimes try to sell them stuff. I once spent 45 minutes on a slow day at work trying to sell a 120 kg vibrator to some dude."

J-Sixhoej , JÉSHOOTS Report

#26

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Shouting in Arabic mostly get them pretty scared."

Nursultan_Tulyakbay_ , Quinn Dombrowski Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#27

"I only do this if I'm at home... I scream. They stop talking..when they start talking again I scream again. "Sir are you okay?!" "I'm taking a sh*t and I swear it's coming out sideways! Oh god please keep talking it helps!" Then repeat steps one and two until they hang up."

FilledwithTegridy Report

#28

"Flip the script on them. Hello, thank you for returning our call. We've been trying to reach you about your car's extended warranty."

SixGunChimp Report

#29

"I ask them to confirm my information for security purposes. Breaks their script and they don't know what to say!"

hitforhelp Report

Hawk4scythe
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have done this before the floundering for a line afterwards is so funny

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#30

"Are you touching yourself too?"

mr_jedders Report

#31

"I wait 15-20 seconds in complete silence then let out the loudest god-awful screech I can manage and listen to them scramble to take off their headset in complete panic."

kosmoludek Report

Cat enthusiast
Community Member
4 weeks ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ha! Edit: why all the upvotes all I said was “ha” thx ppl

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#32

"Just to let you know, by law I'm required to inform you that this is a premium phone line that will be billed directly to your provider. By calling here you agree to accept all charges. Something like that not only gets them to hang up, but they tend to stop calling me after that."

Nethervex Report

Jake B
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like to answer “Identify”. Then say “you have 30 seconds - Identify”. Then hang up.

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#33

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Is this what you wanted to be when you grew up?"

NoOneShallPassHassan Report

#34

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I usually respond with: "Is it your first day?"

"On the job?"

"No, on Earth."

kazmac19 , Dziubi Steenbergen Report

#35

"I usually go for "The person you are calling is deceased and their death is currently part of an ongoing investigation. Please stay on the line as we may need to jot down your personal information." My grandmother picks up every call even when she knows it's a scammer, but she usually just says "Not interested." And hangs up. Showed her my way of doing it one time and she thought I was a crazy person."

ShrikePilgrim Report

#36

"My dad used to get a lot of Viagra salesman. So he pleads with them to stop sending free samples because he's too hard all the time and can't live his life."

anusthrasher96 Report

Henry Russell
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

please not the Viagra NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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#37

"I was like 8-10 years old and had someone call asking if I was a homeowner. Had them on the phone for 5 minutes straight having them repeatedly explain what a homeowner is. They hung up, I was so proud."

B1gSheen Report

Dana Ondráčková
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Asked me simmilar thing And happily wanting to buy all of my properties. I let him speak, then Said "dude, I am 18 yo broke a*s student, I dont even own a car"

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#38

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "I tell them my name is Billy Madonna, and I drive a '93 Toyota Paseo. Then I start getting pissed when they tell me they actually CAN'T give me an extended warranty on my car. I mean, why can't you?! YOU called ME, and the machine SAID I could get an extended warranty. THAT IS FALSE ADVERTISING! LET ME SPEAK WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR!"

ImTheGreatLeviathan , RL GNZLZ Report

Ryan Hailey
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I say I am mark from Nebraska and that I am 58 and a corn farmer who has trouble using their phone

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#39

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "My son always tells them "I have a belly button". Leaves them speechless."

2112n , zeevveez Report

Abigail Strong
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Now say it in an excited deep man voice like you JUST figured it out.

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#40

Someone Asked "What Is Something You Say To Scammers Instead Of Hanging Up?" And 50 People Gave The Best Responses "Do you tell your friends and family you steal for a living?"

YourMomThinksImFunny , Towfiqu barbhuiya Report

#41

"I take a deep breath and let out a continuous raspberry. (fart noise with your tongue) for as long as I can. When I stop to take a breath I usually hear "..uh.. hello?" And then I take a big breath again and continue. No one has made it to two full raspberries before hanging up on me."

DasMess Report

Libstak
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Haha my Dad could fart loudly on command...he loved practising his skill on scammers. Passed away now, I miss him and his wacky humour.

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#42

"My favorite one is to just go along with whatever they want, using fake names, then when they ask for my credit card number I tell them it's out in my car in the parking garage, and tell them I'll go grab it, then just put them on hold until they hang up. My longest-ever holder was almost a half hour."

unibrow4o9 Report

Betta Fish
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If they left a caller ID you could call back and then tell them you got the wrong card then do it again

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#43

"My brother told me that he sometimes starts to purposely talk in broken English, as soon as he realizes that it’s a scammer. He would pretend to be very interested in whatever they were selling. Then just as it seemed like a sale was certain, he would start asking questions that showed that he really didn’t understand what was being offered for sale or what he has to pay. No matter how much the scammer tries to explain, my brother will at first appear to get it and then will continue not to understand. This goes on until the caller finally hangs up in frustration, sometimes cursing him out first."

Nuf-Said Report

Kitten Dog Mom
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I had a friend do that once, she could have won an Oscar!

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#44

"My dad once got a scam call at dinner saying he won a trip to Orlando or something similar. He replied with the biggest, most excited voice: "ORLANDO! I LOVE ORLANDO! THAT'S WHERE MICKEY IS!! I LOVE MICKEY!!" Then he hung up."

NebulaDragon416 Report

#45

"I say OH MY GOD THERE IS A SHARK IN MY HOUSE I HAVE TO GO BYE!!!"

reddit.com Report

Henry Russell
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

dont do this you dont wanna be the boy who called OH MY GOD THERE IS A SHARK IN MY HOUSE.

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#46

"Grab a metal skillet, place it on the phone, and bang the thing with a metal spoon. Perfect response."

Ironhead-Official Report

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#47

"Got a call from a lady who said she can save me hundreds on my insurance. My insurance is $167. So you giving me money now that's sick."

HereToDoThingz Report

#48

"I just give the phone to my 7yo and he just curses a blue streak."

crapittycrapcrap Report

#49

"Tell them you don't have this common thing they're calling about. For example, calling about windows checking? Sorry, I live in a basement, and I have no windows. My child got in a car crash and I need to pay? It's a miracle, my child has died a few weeks ago and suddenly they're alive and in a car crash! Are you a wizard who can revive the dead? Amazing! Just confuse them and waste as much time as you can, bonus points if you make them feel like sh*t."

Williukea Report

Angi
Community Member
4 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When I was a teenager I would pretend to be a very interested customer asking tons of questions. I would eventually agree to whatever they were selling and then let them know I would have to talk to my parents they usually hung up

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#50

"Ask them for their personal phone number so I can call them on there when I’m off work. Gets hung up pretty quick."

cdanielss24 Report

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