What to Say to a Scammer to Scare Them

Last Updated on August 7, 2023 by Jerome Donovan

People talk about being scammed or almost falling for a scam every day. If you’ve been scammed, you might become suspicious of every text or call for a while. If you haven’t been scammed, it’s always good to be careful. One thing you might wonder is what to say to a scammer to scare them.


Scammers try to take advantage of people by reaching out in different ways. They might send texts, make calls, or share links that can access your personal information. But if you understand the various tricks these criminals use, you can learn what to say if you ever face a scam. Even if it’s just a small act of revenge, you can fight back against scammers.

What to Say to a Scammer to Scare Them

What to Say to a Scammer to Scare Them


1. Question His Identity

A scammer often hides behind fake identities, making it challenging to trace them. So, question his identity to put him on the defensive.

Ask about verifying their identity through a video call or provide specific details about their company or offer.

For example, you might say:

Your story doesn’t add up; can you provide more details about your company’s registration number and physical address?



Can you verify your identity with a video call? I need to be sure you are who you claim to be.

These questions can make the scammer uncomfortable, and they may abandon their attempt if they feel they are being scrutinized too closely. It turns the tables and make them feel like they are the ones being investigated.

2. Play Along with the Scammer’s Game

If you play along, you get to confuse them and waste their time. You can pretend to go along with their scam but subtly change details or ask for more and more specific information.

For example, you might change your name or other personal details and see if they notice. Or you might pretend to be overly enthusiastic about their offer and ask for intricate details about how it works.

You could say:

I’m so excited about this opportunity! Can you explain exactly how the investment will grow over time?


I’m interested, but I need to know every step of the process.

The objective is to engage the scammer with false hope and waste their time.

3. Threaten Legal Action

Still on what to say to a scammer to scare them, you can threaten legal action. If you make it clear that you’re aware of the scam and are prepared to take legal steps, they may back off. You could say:

I’ve reported this conversation to the authorities, and they are monitoring our communication.


I’m in touch with my lawyer, and we’re tracking this conversation.

These statements can create fear and uncertainty in the scammer, making them think twice about continuing their fraudulent activities.

4. Use Technical Jargon

If the scam is technical, such as a computer virus scam, using technical jargon can intimidate the scammer. Say:

I’ve analyzed the IP headers and cross-referenced the DNS. Your location doesn’t match your story.


I’ve secured my system with triple-encryption firewalls. Can you explain how you bypassed them?

These statements can make the scammer feel outmatched and unsure of how to proceed. It shows that you’re knowledgeable and not an easy target. Even if you’re not an expert, using technical language can create doubt in the scammer’s mind.

5. Just Waste Their Time with Words

A scammer is looking for quick wins, and if you keep them engaged with endless questions and demands for reassurance, they may give up.

You could ask detailed questions about their offer, pretend to be interested but continually change your mind, or ask for repeated reassurances. For example, say:

I’m interested, but I need a written guarantee.


Can you explain that again? I want to be sure I understand every detail.

Say the above to drag out the conversation and making them work for your trust. It can frustrate the scammer and make them more likely to abandon the attempt.

6. Show Empathy

Empathy and asking about the scammer’s life choices can unsettle them. You can ask something like:

Why are you doing this? Don’t you feel bad for scamming people? Or Have you considered a legitimate career? It’s never too late to change.

These questions can humanize you in the scammer’s eyes and make them feel guilty or uncomfortable. It also appeals to the scammer’s conscience and makes them reflect on their actions.

Unfortunately, this won’t work with every scammer, but it’s a technique that can create doubt and send a scammer away.

7. Reply with Automated Messages

Or at least pretend to be an automated messenger. This method is humorous and can confuse a text scammer. Responding  with fake automated messages will make the scammer believe they have contacted a bot or subscribed to a random service.

Examples of messages include thanking them for subscribing to “Random Bird Facts” and informing them of a charge or congratulating them on subscribing to “Hilarious Knock Knock Jokes.”

If they attempt to cancel, you can continue the prank by sending an error message. This method can be satisfying as it gives the scammer a taste of their own medicine.

8. Copy and Paste Their Own Message

Just do  as the heading suggests – copy and paste the scammer’s own message back to them. Send their message back every time to perplex them enough to make them reconsider targeting you.

This method might not waste as much of their time as other approaches, but it can disrupt their efforts.

Alternatively, you could send them a link to an online store or an affiliate link, ensuring that none of your personal information is attached. It is less about scaring the scammer and more about throwing them off balance.

9. Correct Their Grammar Errors

Many make mistakes in their texts, and you can tell it’s a scam if you notice these errors. But if you want to get back at them, you can do something fun. Take a close look at their text and fix all the mistakes. Then, send it back to them through the email or phone number they used.

When they see that you have corrected their text, they will probably leave you alone. They’ll realize you’re just wasting their time, and won’t bother you again.

10. Repeat “Uh-huh, go on…”

Simply repeat the phrase “Uh-huh, go on…” to everything the scammer says. It shows that you are not taking them seriously and that you are aware of their intentions.

You are not only wasting their time but also frustrating and making them feel powerless in the situation.

11. Question the Scammer’s Morals

Ask the scammer something like “Does your mother know that you steal for a living?” This question challenges their ethics and makes them reflect on their actions. It might not stop them, but it could make them uncomfortable and think twice about what they’re doing.

12. Say Words that Make You Seem Guilty

Responding to a scam call about an accident with “Oh, it wasn’t an accident, I meant to hurt those people” can be a shocking response. It’s a way to play along with their game but in a twisted manner. This response can catch them off guard and make them escalate the call or even hang up.

13. Answer/Reply as a Business

Whether replying or answering a scammer’s text or call, you want to do it as if you’re a business. Mention that the call may be recorded – a humorous way to scare scammers away. It also tells the scammer that you’re not an easy target and that you’re aware of their scam, all while adding a touch of humor with “recorded for training purposes”.

14. “I am a Police Officer.”

When a scammer calls, you can answer by saying:

Hello, you have reached the Chicago police department, officer [your name] speaking. How may I direct your call?

Make sure to provide a random name – and not your real name, even if the scammer may know your real name.

Pretending to be a police officer creates an immediate sense of authority. Scammers will likely hang up immediately, fearing legal consequences.

15. Random Screaming of Words

If you know what to say to a scammer to scare them but don’t just want to, consider screaming. Try being silent initially and then randomly scream.

This unexpected reaction can be quite unsettling for the scam caller. And it sends a clear message that you are not an easy target and that you’re aware of their intentions.

16. Threaten to Meet in Person

Respond with, “We can discuss this in person. I’m already on my way,” to unnerve a scammer. Suggesting a face-to-face meeting can help you to take control of the situation and put the scammer on the defensive. This response will also make them feel exposed and vulnerable. Expect them to quickly end the call after some seconds.

17. Pretend to be a Victim

You can outsmart a scammer by answering with something like:

The phone works??? Please, they have us in a basement, so much blood. Please.

This will come as a shocking and unexpected response. It also creates confusion, making them question what they have stumbled into.

18. Make Bizarre Threats

Tell the scammer something like, “I want to cut out your eyes so you will be my slaves in the afterlife.”

This method is unconventional; while it may sound extreme, it sends a clear message that you are not to be played with. It will scare off the scammer who also won’t bother you again.

19. Pretend to Have a Bad Connection

If you want to frustrate a scammer, you can pretend to have a bad connection by crumbling a piece of paper next to your mouth and repeatedly saying, “I’m sorry, I have a bad connection. Can you say that again?”

This tactic can wear down the scammer’s patience and make them hang up. It’s a non-confrontational way to handle the situation while still sending a clear message that you are not an easy target.

20. Give them a Silent Treatment

Lastly, the most powerful response – SILENCE. The Atlanta Journal Constitution explains that “sometimes, the most powerful answer is silence … or kindness”.

Remaining silent or just breathing heavily into the phone can create an unsettling atmosphere for the scammer. This approach can make them feel unsure of how to proceed, often leading them to hang up.

Staying Safe

Don’t click any links or download PDFs, and avoid opening attachments sent to you if you are dealing with a text scammer. If dealing with a call scammer, do not share any personal information with the person. That’s because they might be able to access your phone through text.

If you want to mess with a scammer, use a fake name and never share personal details. Things like your pet’s name, the schools you attended, your family members’ names, or your birthday could help the scammer guess your passwords or security questions.

How to Report and Block a Scammer

Report any scam texts or calls to the FTC’s Report Fraud site

If you receive scam texts or calls, report them to the Federal Trade Commission’s Report Fraud website via Click “Report Now” and follow the steps to provide all the information needed.

Anything you can share about your experience, including the text of the messages or screenshots, can be helpful for an investigation.

Block the sender and text their message to SPAM (7726)

You can report text scammers to your wireless provider by forwarding the suspicious numbers to 7726 – Verizon. Here’s how to do it on different devices:

iPhone Press and hold the message, click “more…”, then the forward arrow, enter “7726,” and hit send. Reply to your service provider’s message with the suspicious number.
Android Press and hold the message, select “forward message,” click the forward arrow, enter “7726,” and send. Reply to your service provider’s message with the suspicious number.

Watch out for common texting scams

Scammers often pretend to be someone you know or a well-known company. Here are some common texting scams to watch out for:

  • They may claim to be from the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS about a delivery issue.
  • If you’ve posted your resume online, they might offer a job or ask you to send money.
  • A scammer can pretend to be a bank and ask about suspicious activity or transactions.
  • They could claim to be Amazon, offering a free gift card or reward.
  • They may pretend to be the IRS, talking about stimulus payments, bills, or refunds.
  • They might pretend to be a friend or relative asking for emergency cash.

Make Your Phone Number Private

You can keep your phone number private on social media sites like Facebook. Here’s how:

  • On Facebook, click your public profile in the top right.
  • Click “About,” then “Contact and Basic Info.”
  • Next to your mobile number, choose the icon to the left of the pencil and select “Only me.”
  • You can also search your number on the internet and remove it from any public sites where it’s listed.

Filter Out Messages from Unknown Numbers

You can filter out messages from numbers you don’t know on both iPhone and Android devices. This can stop the problem before it starts.

On iPhone:

  1. Open Settings > “Messages.”
  2. Scroll down to “Message Filtering.”
  3. Turn on “Filter Unknown Senders.”
  4. You’ll only see unknown senders when you go to “Filters” > “Unknown Senders.”

On Android:

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. Tap the three dots inside the search bar.
  3. Go to “Settings,” then “Spam Protection.”
  4. Enable “Spam Protection.” The slider should turn blue.

Opt Out of Marketing Calls and Texts

To avoid spam texts and calls, you can opt out of marketing materials.

Ways to Opt Out:

  • Uncheck boxes on company websites when giving your email or phone number.
  • Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Use apps like Google Voice or DoNotPay to create a temporary number for company websites.

Note: Telemarketers might get your number if you’ve called toll-free numbers, given it to companies, or ordered products online. Your number could be sold to them, so be careful with whom you share it.

Conclusion on What to Say to a Scammer to Scare Them

Being scammed is something no one wants, but not everyone is lucky enough to avoid it. The good news is that there are ways to deal with scammers. You can learn their tricks and find ways to frighten them away.

You now have a list of things you can say that can help you scare a scammer. Some of these methods even let you be creative. The main goal is to stay off the scammers’ radar, and with these ideas, you’ll know what to say to a scammer to keep them at bay. It’s all about finding solutions and taking control.

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