Harassing phone calls can make you dread the sound of a ringing telephone, and fear who may be on the other line. You should never have to put up with any form of harassment, and phone harassment is no exception National Enterprise Systems. As a telephone consumer you have a right to privacy and phone harassment is illegal in most states.
Are you unsure if the unwanted phone calls you are receiving are considered harassment? To help you better define the calls you’ve experienced, the following is what counts as a harassing call:
– When someone uses profane language or threatens you
– Heavy breathing or silence is used to intimidate you
All it takes is one phone call with any of the above characteristics to be considered phone harassment.
What can you do about harassing calls? Depending on how serious the harassment is will determine what methods you will use to make the calls stop. The following are a few suggestions:
Find out everything you can about the caller – First of all, conduct a reverse phone search. Find out the caller’s 10-digit phone number. This can easily be achieved with Caller ID and paying attention to your call display the next time the harasser calls. Enter the phone number into a reverse phone number lookup that includes cell phone numbers in the results, and see what information is returned to you for free.
If you are not provided with the person’s name and address, and you find out the number belongs to a mobile phone, you can pay a small fee for a more detailed search to be conducted. You may find the details you discover in a reverse lookup will be of use to you if you file a report with the authorities, or if you choose to confront the individual the next time they phone.
Note: If you cannot obtain the harassers number because they have blocked their number from being displayed on your Caller ID, you can find out how to put a stop to this, which will be explained in the “block the call” section below.
Screen the call with Caller ID – Don’t answer the phone when the harasser’s number shows up on your Caller ID, and be sure to tell anyone else who lives with you to do the same. Another way you can screen calls is to apply a different ring tone to the harassing caller’s number. That way you will know each time they phone. Once the harasser realizes they can’t reach you, this will deter them from calling you back.
Block the call – If the number is blocked, and the calls are being made to your landline phone, you can usually disable blocked calls by activating anonymous call rejection. To activate this service, pick up your phone and dial *77. After entering the code, you should either her three beeps or a recording which informs you that anyone who blocks their number will be blocked from your phone. Thus, the next time the anonymous harasser calls, your phone will not ring and he/she will hear a recording that states you do not accept calls from blocked numbers and it will then tell them how they can go about unblocking their number. You can also ask your phone company to block all calls made by the harasser’s phone number.
Do not call the harasser back. Although you may be tempted to call the harasser back and give them a taste of their own medicine, or a piece of your mind, you don’t want to take the risk that this method will backfire and make the situation worse. Furthermore, the number they could be using may not even be theirs. They could be using another person’s phone or Caller ID spoofing (disguising their true identity with a false one).
Notify your phone company and the police – If the harasser makes any threats make sure you notify your phone company and file a police report immediately. When filing a report try to be as detailed as possible. Tell them…