Samsung Unpacked Livestream Wednesday New Wordle Strategy Nest vs. Ecobee Thermostat Today's Best Deals Under $25 Fitness Supplements Laptops for High School Samsung QLED vs. LG OLED TV Samsung Unpacked Predictions
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Woman brilliantly fools a phone scammer

Technically Incorrect: Canada's Dawn Belmonte gets a call from a man claiming she owes money. What happens next is not what you might expect.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Dawn Belmonte is quite some actress.

CBC screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

They call you, acting all tough.

They claim they're from the IRS or some company to whom you owe money.

Then they try to shake you down.

Dawn Belmonte, of Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, says she decided to scam the scammers. On her Facebook page, she said she recognized the number of the man calling as one regularly used by scammers who claim you owe taxes.

She said they left her a voice mail and she decided to call back. Oh, and film at the same time.

You might wonder why she would bother. She told CBC that her dad had been scammed for substantial amounts of money while he had leukemia.

When she called she used the name Marisa Silvera -- first name she could think of, she said -- and then gave a quite brilliant sob story.

She said she had no money. "My husband took all our money. He's in jail right now because he had tax evasion and now he's going to get me in trouble."

Actually, her husband was wandering around the house in his shorts.

This was the point at which she wept (not really) and hung up the phone. but the scammer called again two minutes later.

He suggested she pawn something. He has a heart, you see. He claimed he could help. Of course he could.

Belmonte explained she had to borrow $5 to buy milk. She claimed to be an illegal immigrant from, gosh, the US.

Then she laid it on very thick. She said she had six children. The scammer was stuck. His next idea was that she gets someone to send money from the US. He'd settle for just 10 percent.

This is a reasonable man.

In some twisted way, I mean it. Belmonte had taken him in. The man admitted that it was all a scam.

"If anyone else calls and asks you for money, don't pay anything to them," he said.

Oddly enough, the scammer didn't realize he had been scammed. Even though Belmonte laid it on very thick at the end by saying she'd been contemplating suicide.

"I was shocked and stunned when he admitted it," she told me. She'd been prepared to go on and on, yet here he was allowing a tinge of humanity to creep through.

She took her story to the police. How harsh, you might think, after he'd been so nice.

Sadly, these scammers are often far away and ensure that their lines are scrambled enough, so that their location cannot be pinpointed.

There was one more twist. The supposed Canadian Revenue Agency called again. The scammers again wanted money. But when they realized who she was, they decided not to press it.

Please, therefore, don't get taken in. These people are the phone equivalent of Nigerian men who want your bank account number in order to deposit $20 million into it.