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We are not able to counsel stalking victims. What makes a phone call harassing?


We are not able to counsel stalking victims. What makes a phone call harassing? How often do I have to get these calls to make it harassment? Who should I contact when I get harassing calls?

What can my local phone company do if I am receiving harassing calls? Is the phone company always able to solve harassing phone call problems? What can I do to stop harassing calls without going to the phone company or police? What is the "pressure valve" strategy? Annoyjng precautions can I take to prevent harassment?

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How can I stop telemarketing calls? Sometimes my phone rings and there is no one on the line. What is happening? What can I do to stop other kinds of unwanted calls? Can I use Caller ID to stop unwanted calls? What does Privacy Manager do?

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texte Introduction Obscene or harassing phone calls can be one textw the most stressful and frightening invasions of privacy a person experiences. And unwanted phone calls, while a minor problem when compared with threatening calls, can still be a major inconvenience. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help put an end to these unwelcome intrusions.

When someone calls and uses obscene or threatening language, or even heavy breathing or silence to intimidate you, you are receiving a harassing call. It is against the law in California and other states to make obscene or threatening calls. California Penal Code section m, Penal Code section Just one unwelcome call can be harassing; but usually your local phone company will not take action unless the calls are frequent. However, if a call specifically threatens you or your family with bodily harm, the phone company will generally take immediate action.

Local phone companies have varying policies on whether to call the phone company or the police first. Some recommend that you first call the phone company's business office and explain the problem. A representative will connect you with the "annoyance desk. To find out what your phone company's policy is, contact the business office and ask for assistance.

Click on "Annoyance Call Types" for specific guidance. Verizon policies are available at their Unlawful Call Assistance. For serious threats, if life or property are threatened, or if calls are obscene, you should call the police and file a report. Provide as much information to law enforcement as you can. Indicate the gender of the caller and describe the caller's voice. Note the time and date of the call s. What did the caller say?

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Did the caller seem intoxicated? Was there any background noise? If the calls are frequent or particularly sgin, the phone company can set up a "Trap" on your phone line.

The Trap allows the phone company to determine the telephone from which the harassing calls originate. You must keep a log noting the time and date the harassing calls are received.

Traps are usually set up for no more than two weeks. The phone company does not charge a fee for Traps. A phone company service called Call Trace may also be able to help track sibn harassing calls. Call Trace is easier than using a Trap since the customer does not have to keep a phone log.

But Call Trace technology works only within the local service area. Look in the "Customer Guide" section of the phone book or the phone company's web site for a description of your local service area.

Call Trace must be set up in advance by the individual receiving harassing calls, and it requires a fee for use. However, in forr where the phone company would ordinarily use a Trap, you might not be charged if the phone company suggests that Call Trace be used as an alternative. Be sure to ask. The information collected from Call Trace or from a Trap is turned over to law enforcement personnel, not the customer.

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Law enforcement officers try to stop the harassing calls by either warning or arresting the harasser. With both Call Trace and a Trap, your phone conversations are sing listened to or recorded by the phone company. If the caller uses a phone booth or multiple phone lines, the phone company and law enforcement officials may never get enough identification to take further action.

In cases like these, changing your phone might help.

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Also, you might want to get an unlisted or unpublished. In addition, the tips listed below for discouraging other types of unwanted calls may be of help. First, simply hang up on the caller. Amnoying not engage in conversation. Typical crank callers are seeking attention. You have "made their day" if you say something to them or express shock or anger.

If you answer the phone and the harassing caller is on the line, another suggestion is to say: "Operator, this is the call. Or say the word "trap," what time it is and the date; then hang up. Some threatening calls are part of a larger pattern of abuse, such as stalking. Some experts recommend in these situations to get a new phonebut keep the phone being called by the harasser rfee attach a voice mail machine or message service to that line. Turn the phone's ringer off and don't use that phone line for anything other than capturing the calls of the harasser.

This is the pressure valve strategy.

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Instead, you are simply using the to gather evidence. Annoyinng will want to save tape recordings of the calls. Get another phone for your use, and be sure it's unlisted and unpublished. Give the to trusted friends and relatives only. Do not give it to your bank, credit card company or credit bureau. Put passwords on all of your phone s local, long distance, and mobile. Tell the phone siggn in writing that they must not disclose any information to anyone but yourself, and only when the correct password is given.

Do not disclose personal information when called by someone you do not know. They might be checking out the residence for possible robbery or other crime. If the caller asks what they have called, do not give it. Instead, ask them to tell you what they dialed. Children should be instructed to never reveal information to unknown callers. Instead, they should be taught to record the caller's name and phone along with date and time.

Do not include your telephone on the outgoing message of your voice mail service if you wish to keep your private. By omitting your phone from your message, you prevent random dialers and people with Call Return explained below from capturing this information. The most effective and easiest way to prevent telemarketing calls is to register your home and personal phone s with the National Do Not Call Registry operated by the Federal Trade Commission FTC.

Random digit dialing devices are able to determine all possible phone frienvs, even unlisted s, and dial them much more rapidly than any person can. Some telemarketers use "predictive dialing" technology to call consumers who are not on the National Do Not Call Registry. A computer dials many phone s in a short period of time. When an individual answers, the computer seeks a sales representative who is not occupied and connects the call.

If all employees are handling other calls, the consumer hears dead silence. These are "abandoned calls. They wonder if someone is harassing them, or if a burglar is checking to see if they are not home. In most cases, these calls are from telemarketers. Prior express written consent is required for all autodialed or prerecorded calls or text SMS messages made to cell phones or residential landlines for marketing purposes. If you are receiving many abandoned calls a day, you can call the annoyance department of your local phone company and ask that a Trap be placed on your line.

In extreme situations, the phone company might be willing to contact the offending telemarketer and request that your phone be place on its frer not call" list. If the repeated calls are from a malicious individual who is harassing you rather than a telemarketer, the phone company will report the to law enforcement as described in the beginning of this guide.

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California Public Utilities Code Sometimes calls are annoying but are not serious enough to involve law enforcement as is necessary friens either a Trap or Call Trace. These might include telemarketing sales calls, wrong s, overly aggressive bill collectors, and prank calls. There are several steps you can take to discourage such unwanted calls. An answering machine or a voice mail service is one of the best ways to limit unwanted calls.

An answering machine records messages when you are not available and can also be used to screen your calls.

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