Harassing Phone Calls

Unwanted and Harassing Telephone Calls

Students, faculty and staff periodically report to Police incidents of harassing or obscene telephone calls. These calls come from both on-campus and off-campus locations and originate for a variety of motives.

The University Police actively investigate such complaints, and the person(s) are identified in some incidents. Criminal and/or University charges can result with appropriate sanctions. Your awareness and cooperation is essential in combating this form of victimization.

The accompanying information will hopefully assist you in the unwelcome event of annoying telephone calls of an obscene or harassing nature.

Beating the Harassing Telephone Call

Annoying/harassing telephone calls are a common occurrence throughout any community. They disrupt our personal and professional life, as well as inflict untold emotional stress.

The University community is not immune to such unfortunate incidents. However, there are several suggestions that the University Police have outlined for University members to help reduce and eliminate annoying/harassing telephone calls.

  1. Immediately hang-up the receiver after your second "hello" or at the first indication that it is not a normal phone call. Do not slam the receiver-this tips the caller in believing s/he has succeeded in annoying you.
  2. Don't give out personal information to the caller. If the caller claims to be taking a survey, ask for the caller's name, phone number and the organization being represented. This will help verify the authenticity of the survey.
  3. Don't encourage the caller or extend the conversation by trying to determine his/her identity or by answering with witty or sarcastic remarks. Bear in mind the caller usually wants an emotional reaction from the victim.
  4. Don't express any sympathy or concern for the caller. The caller will continue to use the victim for support.
  5. Report annoying/harassing phone calls to the University Police Department. Completing the telephone call log (provided) will assist the University Police in investigating the incident.
  6. Acquaintances are very often responsible for the annoying/harassing phone calls. Discuss the calls with the appropriate authorities who can assist you in resolving the problem.
  7. For continuing persistent calls, acquiring campus PHONEMAIL service and changing your phone number are some options which University Police can assist you with in coordination with the Telecommunications Office.
  8. The possibility exists to place your telephone on a trap system to identify the location of on-campus calls. This can be arranged through University Police and Telecommunications.