telephone preference service. The problem is tps/ofcom only have jurisdiction over the UK, so what happens is companies call from the USA instead (which display as 'unknown' numbers) and there's nothing you can do to stop them as they are outside of the authority of the UK regulators and law. All you can do is waste as much of their time as possible.
I haven't got one of those calls in while, they were quit frequent at one time though. Once a month or more. If I'm bored I'll lead them on as long as I can just to piss them off. Sometimes I just tell them I don't own a computer. That usually throws them for a loop. I get a long pause and then the "You don't own a computer?" I say no and they hang up. The usual line is your PC is infected with viruses and needs to be cleaned. It is trying to infect other PC's on the Internet. We can help you fix it remotely, yada yada yada. I've had two fiends fall for it and come to me to fix what they did. They gave them remote access and by the time they finally figured out it was a scam it was too late. They couldn't log in or Internet access was blocked, then the give us money and we'll unlock it ploy. A factory reset fixed both PC's. Lesson learned for them. I advised them both to change any and all online passwords especially for online banking sites.
In the U.S.A, we have a "Do Not Call List" that was initiated by our government several years ago. It worked for quite awhile.......now the advertisers, etc., etc., no longer pay attention to it. We get an unbelievable amount of advertisement, recorded, and scam calls. We usually don't pick up the calls that do not list their phone number and/or caller's name. We let them leave a message, and if no message left, no return call.
A customer of mine fell for it,when his credit card didn't work he tried to pay with his paypal acct .for some reason that didn't work ,so he never lost any money except For what he payed me to make sure his computer was not infected
I went through a spell of getting 3 or 4 a week of these calls some months ago. On an odd occasion I would keep them talking and then thank them for staying on the line long enough to get a direct trace to their location or keep them talking and then say "but I don't have a computer" or "mine is the one with a Penguin"
I get those calls once in a while. I let them ramble on a bit then reach into my drawer and pull out my trusted air horn and give them a blast. Know it is not legal but they are not legal anyway.
I've only been fortunate enough to actually experience one of these calls, once. I wasted all kinds of time asking them what versions of Windows were infected, trying to figure out exactly which of my computers was infected, putting them on hold while I went to boot up all of my different computers. At one point, i must have said something that caught their interest and they stopped and asked how i knew about the Event Viewer. When I explained that I was a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer all of a sudden they experienced some type of phone system failure and I lost them.
I've received several many calls stating in a thick Indian accent "Hello I am from Microsoft, you have a problem with update your Windows PC"
I would usually hang up, but it got so annoying I decided to play along...
These were the old Ammyy scammers, who would remote into your machine and show you the many errors in your event log.
An attempt to get you to spend $400+ on their "repair" software, which I bet does little more than clear your event log...
Anyway, I was using purely Linux on my desktop at the time, and wanted to mess with these guys a bit.
Within 4 minutes of stalling I had a virtual machine with Windows 7 up and running. I also added a nice little handfull of Image Hijacks (these cause other exe programs to run in place of the normal ones). To name a few:
Further, I put many disgusting and horrible things littered around the machine in the few places they were to navigate through. The kinds of things that would give even a lowly con artist second thoughts about dealing with such a deranged and creepy person.
Then using my phone's internet connection for the VM, i gave them remote access. (Didn't want them anywhere near my real network, went far as unplugging my ethernet during this escapade.
You could hear in their voice when they were remoted in that there was substantial difficulty remaining composed and "professional".
About 4 different people tried to handle this machine as I played totally stupid, before they finally gave up and just hung up on me.
Never got a call again.