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How to Trick People on Your Voice Mail

Updated April 17, 2017

Instead of leaving a standard, boring voice mail greeting for your callers, why not have a little fun and use your voice mail to trick your friends and family? You'll always have a few callers who are less than appreciative of your shenanigans, but you'll also get plenty of laughs at these clean caller pranks. You might even trick a fellow prankster who was placing a phoney phone call to you!

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  1. Access your voice mail's "record greeting" option, or press the "record" button on your answering machine.

  2. Record the message and say "Hello?" as you normally would when answering your phone.

  3. Wait two or three seconds for your caller to identify himself.

  4. Say, "Oh, hi! What's up?"

  5. Wait another two or three seconds, giving your caller a little time to respond.

  6. Exclaim, "Hold on a second!"

  7. Wait 30 to 45 seconds. The longer you wait, the more it will aggravate your callers. But don't wait too long -- you don't want them to get frustrated and hang up.

  8. Say, "Sorry about that! Now, what were you saying?"

  9. Wait another three seconds and then loudly say "Oh, you know what? Wait a minute. I forgot to tell you. You'll have to leave me a message because I can't get to my phone!"

  10. Laugh and let your caller know he's been tricked, then end the recording. Be prepared for angry voice messages!

  11. Access your voice mail's "record greeting" option, or press the "record" button on your answering machine.

  12. Say, "Hi, this is [your name]. My telephone number has changed. In order to reach me, you must hang up and dial the following number."

  13. Wait two or three seconds for your caller to grab a pen.

  14. Recite your 10-digit telephone number slowly -- the same one the caller has just called.

  15. Say "Thank you, goodbye!" and end the recording.

  16. Access your voice mail's "record greeting" option, or press the "record" button on your answering machine.

  17. Record a message using a friend who speaks in a deep, low, creepy voice and says "[your name] can't come to the phone. I've kidnapped him and am holding him ransom. Leave your credit card information after the tone, and I'll release your friend once your ransom payment of £32 clears."

  18. Yell "Help!" in the background.

  19. End the recording or you can let the caller know he has been tricked.

  20. Tip

    For the Call Answer Fake Out, try to sound as natural as possible to encourage your callers to respond as though you were actually on the phone. With the Number Change trick, callers who know your telephone number by heart will realise they've been tricked once they finish writing down the "new" number you state. Callers who dial you by name from their contact list may not recognise your number and will realise they've been tricked when they dial the "new" number and hear your message again!


    As with all pranks, answering machine tricks may anger, aggravate or upset your victims.

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Things You'll Need

  • A phone with voice mail or answering machine
  • A clear voice
  • A friend

About the Author

Debra Pachucki has been writing in the journalistic, scholastic and educational sectors since 2003. Pachucki holds a Bachelor's degree in education and currently teaches in New Jersey. She has worked professionally with children of all ages and is pursuing a second Masters degree in education from Monmouth University.

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