The Daily Telegraph
The perfect way to deal with cold callers
“What kind of a cretin is ‘too polite’ to hang up on a cold-calling fraudster?” you may have asked yourself yesterday when you read about the UK Finance report findings in this paper which revealed that a whopping 92 per cent of us are too scared to slam the phone down on the criminal gangs targeting us at home. Well, this kind: me. At least, back in the day.
For years, I was one of the Brits who would politely go along with these infuriating intrusions into my day (although I would stop short of transferring thousands of pounds into criminals’ bank accounts). And not just here in the UK either, but at our home out in the US, where the cold calls were constant – until I was told about an ingenious chatbot devised by an American superhero named Roger Anderson.
He had become so incensed by telemarketers and scammers that he devised a cyborg with a convincing human voice which would put cold callers through their own special kind of hell. Built to understand speech patterns and inflections, the “Jolly Roger telephone” would throw callers off guard with increasingly bonkers pronouncements ranging from “I just woke up from a nap and I’m really groggy” to the ever more eccentric “Do you drink coffee?” and “You sound like someone I went to school with”.
At the 10-minute mark, Roger was even programmed to announce that he had a bee on his arm. “Sorry – it’s literally crawling up my arm!” At that point even the most hardened phone fraudster couldn’t hang up fast enough.