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One of the best known for this is Aussie security expert Troy Hunt, who once kept a phone scammer on the line for an agonizing 44 minutes and 26 seconds by pretending to barely know how to use a computer.
Others have taken to winding them up by giving them access to virtual machines beset with viruses, fake antivirus programs and dozens of browser toolbars, and watching them struggle.
He’d seen the news reports, and heard all the warnings. After he’d strung him along sufficiently enough, Jakob told him what he thought of him.
“It’s not like we’re living in India and we don’t have anyone in Canada. I will call them and I will provide your information to them. It’s a public duty, I’ve heard, to occupy as much of their time as possible, in order to ensure that their activities are as unprofitable as possible. I read a brilliant Forbes article the other day which looked the Indian call center industry.
Even Make Use Of’s security editor Christian Cawley has taken a pop at them. There are thousands of examples on You Tube and Reddit where people have taken these guys for a ride. Trolling these tech support scammers can turn dark, really quickly.
Jakob Dulisse is a wildlife photographer from Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. On the other end of the line was a man with a heavy Indian accent.
Freelance journalist Carey Holzman also found that when the scammers don’t get what they want, they’ll often resort to vandalizing the computers they’re on.
They’ll have a thick Indian accent, and an improbably Anglicized name, like “Richard Smith” or something.
At the other end is someone claiming to be from “Microsoft Technical Support”, or something similar.
He claimed to be calling from Los Angeles, California on behalf of “Windows Technical Support” and said his name was Harry Stevens.
Harry said Jakob’s computer was infected, and he needed to do something about it, right now. Almost immediately, he realized that he was on the phone with a scammer.