Dealing with Obscene or Annoying Calls
As soon as you hear an obscenity, improper question or no response - HANG UP! It may take the caller 5 or 6 times to get the message, but be consistent and hang up every time. They usually get tired of getting no response and stop calling.
DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS
Be careful when the caller says he is taking a survey. If you have any concern about the legitimacy of a person asking for personal information over the phone, ask the person for his name, firm name and telephone number. Say that you will return the call after you have verified the authenticity of the survey.
DON'T PLAY DETECTIVE
Don't extend the call by trying to figure out who is calling. This or any type of reaction is exactly what the caller wants.
Don't let the caller know you are upset or angry.
DON'T TRY TO BE CLEVER
A witty response may well be interpreted as a sign of encouragement.
DON'T TRY TO BE A COUNSELOR
The annoyance or obscene caller certainly needs professional help, but he will only be encouraged by your concern and will continue calling.
DON'T TELL EVERYONE ABOUT YOUR CALLS
Many calls of this type are actually made by friends, family members, even your closest girlfriend or boyfriend.
PLACE ADS WITH CAUTION
When placing an ad in a newspaper or on a bulletin board, use a newspaper or post office box number if possible. If you must use your phone number, do not list your address. Crank callers are avid readers of classified ads.
DON'T LET YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE OR VOICE MAIL GIVE YOU AWAY
Don't say: I'm out of the office. I'm not at home at the present time. I'm away for the weekend. Also refrain from using names or giving out the phone number. If the prank call is random, you've just given the caller a name and a return phone number.
Suggestions: Your message is important to me, please leave your name and number. I'm glad you called, please leave your name and number. I'm not available at the present time, but will return your call as soon as possible.
REPORT THREATS OF PHYSICAL HARM OR VIOLENCE IMMEDIATELY
While the vast majority of obscene and annoying phone calls are simple pranks, threats of violence must be taken seriously.
Immediately after you receive a call in which there are threats of physical harm or violence, report the call to the Security Department (464-8888) or to your local police agency if you are at home or away from campus.