Harassing Phone Call Tips
Harassing phone calls are very frustrating. There is little that can be done for an immediate fix when the caller is unknown. But there are some steps you can take to discourage future calls from the person. You should also involve your telephone company to assist us in solving the problem.
One misperception is that the police department can trace calls. The phone company has that ability. Police agencies need documentation to provide a legal basis for such an investigation.
Some steps you can take if a harassing caller is staying on the line with you are:
- If you received the call on a landline phone, some carriers can have the call traced. Check with your phone carrier for instructions. Here is a link to instructions for CenturyLink customers: https://www.centurylink.com/home/help/home-phone/calling-features/use-call-trace-to-identify-harassing-calls.html;
- Hang up without making any comment. Harassing callers often want a reaction from their victims. Getting upset only encourages the caller;
- With the suspect on the phone, push the “*” (star) button on the phone and say as if you were talking to the operator: "Operator, this is the call I want you to trace." (This will not happen, but the caller won’t know that);
- If you have an answering machine, consider changing the message to say:
"You have reached our answering machine. Due to annoyance calls, the phone company is tracing all incoming calls. If you would like your call returned, please leave your name and number";
- Tell the caller that you have Caller I.D. and will be reporting this call to the police;
- Begin keeping a log of date, time, and nature of calls, for any future investigation that may occur.
With caller ID, you can record the identity of the person making the harassing phone calls. Keep this information in case the problem escalates to the point of involving our detectives. They will need to get this information from you.