I want to talk about something that has been the bane of my existence for years now: scammers calling my cell phone. It happens several times a week – even multiple times a day – and it’s the absolute worst. As it is, I’m typically not a fan of random non-work, non-family, non-hot babe calls, because who likes getting phone calls on their phone?

They always come from a number my phone doesn’t recognize; the locations come from all over the country, too. I’ve even seen Minnesota area codes pop up. Thinking it could be a work call (or a hot babe call, still holding out hope), I’ll sometimes answer and immediately get annoyed when I hear a few familiar phrases:

“This is [x] from Account Services…”

“Congratulations, you’ve been entered to win a free cruise!”

“This is in regards to your recent…”

Sometimes there would just be silence on the other end of the line, and I’d get disconnected in seconds. Otherwise: CLICK. I have no time for that nonsense. I’ve done a little research and found out that these come from call centers where they keep changing their phone number so they can’t be tracked. A few times, out of curiosity, I’d press 1 to speak to an “agent” or “representative.” They would start by asking me about how many credit cards I own and what my credit limit is. I’d keep lying out of hope that I’d be able to figure out where they come from, but they’ll usually just hang up when they figure out I’m messing around with them.

My number has been registered with the national Do Not Call list, I’ve blocked every fake number on my phone (you can always Google the phone number and it’ll usually tell you if it’s shady or not), but they keep on coming. The FTC has a guide on how you can deal with scam calls, but at the end of the day, this is my fun lifehack if you’re in the same boat as me:

If you’re able to actually talk to someone at the other end of the line, you can say the absolute worst things you can think of to them. Like, think of the most horrible thing you can say to a stranger, and then say it. It’s the best, because it’s totally justified. These are terrible, awful scumbags who are trying to ruin people’s lives. It’s therapeutic. I know, I probably need help.

But give that a try on occasion, because sometimes they’ll hilariously dish it back out to you. One lady legitimately told me she hopes I die in a fire (not going to tell you what I said, but it was arguably worse than that). If you’ve been on the other end of these calls, how do you deal with it? Because this has been going on for years, and it doesn't seem like anyone has been doing anything to crack down on these jerks. Feel free to offer any suggestions my way. I’ll try to record myself talking to a scammer the next time I get a call and post it here. Spoiler alert: That’s probably going to come with a NSFW warning.