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Harassing phone calls

If you are the victim of prank calls or calls that are obscene or make you feel uncomfortable, consider the following personal safety tips.  They may help to protect you and prevent future calls:

  • Hang up. As soon as you hear an obscenity, improper question or no response to your "Hello?" Hang up!
  • Don't talk to strangers. Be careful when the caller says he/she is taking a survey. If you have any concern about the legitimacy of the survey, ask the person for their name, and telephone number. Do not give out any personal information that makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Don't play detective. Don't extend the call by trying to figure out who is calling. This or any other type of reaction is exactly what the caller wants and needs.
  • Keep cool. Don't let the caller know you're upset or angry.
  • Don't panic. Remember when the phone rings it may just be a wrong number. If it continues, follow the instructions outlined in Report obscene or annoying calls (see below).
  • Don't try to be clever. A witty response may well be interpreted as a sign of encouragement.
  • Don't try to be a counsellor. The annoyance or obscene caller certainly needs professional help, but this person is only encouraged by your concern. He/she will only continue the calls and will enjoy themselves while you get upset.
  • Never volunteer your name to an unknown caller. This is an invitation to call again. If it is a wrong number, the problem is not corrected by you giving the caller your name.
  • Report obscene or annoying calls. Report any obscene or annoying calls to Campus Security  and The Department of Public Safety. Here you can log what time the call was made, what was said, the characteristics of the caller, and what you did. The authorities will need this information. By reporting the call, you have begun the process to stop these calls.
  • Calls persisting? If the calls persist and you live in one of the student housing complexes, you may want to speak with the Residential Assistance staff about possibly getting your telephone number changed.
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