Just bragging a bit. Last week, I was able to keep one of those "Windows Tech Support" scammers on the line for over 45 minutes- a personal best.
I've made it a point to get them to stay on the line as long as possible. I consider it a public service. If they're talking to me, they're not talking to someone more vulnerable. I can usually engage them for at least 15 minutes, sometimes longer.
I have many personae I use, but my favorite- and most effective- is the Confused Grampa. When I'm playing CG, I don't hear so good, so the scammers need to repeat things. Sometimes I even get them to "yell really loud" into their phones so I can hear them. This time, I had an inspired thought and pretended that my computer had just rebooted and was at the "Your Computer Rebooted Abnormally" stage. And despite them yelling "Boot normally!" at me, I chose "Safe Mode Without Networking" - over and over, "because it seemed safer." At one point, there were three people on the other end, all trying to tell me how to find the windows key. I spent five minutes telling them stories about my grandson "Gary," who was studying to be a doctor and who had set up all my computers for me so that all I had to do was click on a picture of a cat to bring up the internet. I clicked on that cat a lot, and wasted a good ten minutes of their time describing funny things I saw on videos, mostly cat related. I was flabbergasted when the half-hour mark passed. I couldn't believe they were still on the phone. I almost ended it right there, but I decided to keep going. Fifteen minutes later, I screwed up by laughing. I had told them some absolutely idiotic story about Gary (how he liked cats so much and wished he could hug ALL the cats but he couldn't because that would be crazy), and I just broke down. Giggling hysterically, I informed them that I had just wasted 45 minutes of their time so that they couldn't spend it scamming some poor senior citizen. They disconnected the call.
I have no idea how much longer they would have gone. I hinted around a few times that I had sent a money order to some other "Windows Tech Support" people so they could buy me some software that would let my other computer work again (because it had broken when they were trying to help me the first time). I think that helped keep them interested.
Anyway, it was a good 45 minutes. A personal best. Next time, I'll try not to giggle when I tell one of my crazy Gary stories.