TV personality Dave Holmes, the runner-up on MTV’s I Wanna Be A VJ contest in 1998 and a current podcaster and on-air host at FX, is already renowned for his fearsome prowess at music trivia. But, as he recently demonstrated in a series of amusing tweets, he is equally adept at messing with the minds of hapless, predatory con artists. Most people, when confronted with an obvious, poorly planned telemarketing scam, would just hang up and move on with their lives. Not Holmes. He decided instead to rely on his acting skills and turn this into opportunity to do some long-form improvisational comedy.
The trouble began when Holmes, still feeling a little “stupid” after working out, received an ominous warning from someone claiming to be from the IRS, claiming that the TV host owned over $5,000, his driver’s license had been revoked, and he would be sent to prison if the money were not immediately transferred into a certain designated bank account. Now, Holmes had been audited in 2008, but had wound up owning nothing, so he immediately smelled a rat. Plus he had some time to kill because he had a 20-minute drive ahead of him. So what did he do? For the benefit of the dubious “Officer Eric Johnson,” he went to the trouble of staging an elaborate one-man audio drama, pretending to withdraw the money from the bank, all while supposedly choking back tears. During the course of the call, he was handed off to an “Officer Debbie” and then an “Agent Paul,” all of whom thought Holmes was obeying with their demands. At the end, though, Holmes insisted on reading the following message, supposedly from a bank receipt:
The agent, Holmes says, then apologized. This apology was not accepted, and Holmes forwarded the matter on to the authorities. Telemarketers and con artists beware.
The whole thing is below and is well worth a read, especially if you’re ever partial to a little shit-starting yourself.