Oh for goodness sake! If you’re going to run a scam, at least employ people who can think on their feet!
Phone rings. I answer.
Pause. This is always a dead giveaway, but sometimes it’s easier to resign yourself than have the system ring back.
Asian Gent: (No racism, here. It’s the nature of the cold-calling industry.) Is that Mr Mumble mumble? (standard cold-call version of slightly unusual surname).
There are various replies to this. Excuse me, it’s a woman you’re speaking to! works well(it’s also the truth), and No, he’s dead, (he is), is a showstopper. Both can produce satisfying confusion and embarrassment. But again, sometimes it’s easier to give in and get it over with.
AG: You have been selected by the Ferral Gumment to receive an allowance of 5, 276 dollars…
Me: Yeah? Pull the other one.
HUGE mistake! I should instantly have received vociferous assurances that it was all true, but instead – a flummoxed pause. Admittedly the poor guy has probably never heard the phrase before, but that’s precisely my point. If you’re going to run a scam, at least employ people who can think on their feet.