Unwanted Telephone Calls

Receiving unwanted calls can be frustrating and sometimes frightening.  However, in most cases, using some simple but effective techniques can stop the calls.

HOW TO HANDLE ABUSIVE, HARASSING, OR OBSCENE CALLS

These calls are made for any number of reasons, including broken relationships, an unhappy employee or co-worker, residence hall disputes, or people who simply hang up if someone other than the person they are calling answers.  Often someone you know places them.  The key to handling the calls is not to react to them; reacting could encourage the caller.  In addition, you should:

  • Hang up when you realize the call is intended to harass you.
  • Keep track of the date and time of the calls to determine the pattern.  This can help identify possible suspects.
  • Casually say that TeleCom is going to trace your calls.  Then push the star (*) and pound (#) buttons at    the same time and say, "Operator, trace this call."  Hang up immediately. This usually discourages repeat calls.  Please note this is only a technique to discourage calls.  The operator will not come on the line nor is the call traced.

HOW TO HANDLE THREATENING CALLS

If you receive a call threatening harm to your life, property, or family:

  • Hang up.
  • Note the date and time.
  • Call Public Safety immediately.

HOW TO HANDLE OTHER UNWANTED CALLS

TeleCom is required to provide telephone service for any legitimate use.  Therefore, they can't prevent people from making calls.  The following suggestions may help you to handle unwanted calls.

  • Don't answer questions on the phone that you wouldn't answer if asked by a stranger on the street.
  • Always find out who's calling.  Ask for the person's name and the company or organization he/she represents.
  • If you are not interested in taking the call, say so.  Or ask the caller to mail you the information so you can read it at your leisure.
  • Ask to call back or have them call you back at a later date. Then check the firm organization with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Hang up if the caller is rude or won't end the conversation. 

DOCUMENTING UNWANTED CALLS

Properly documenting unwanted calls is an important first step in eliminating the problem.  This information allows TeleCom to begin tracing procedures.  The annoying phone call log sheet allows you to record specific characteristics of each unwanted call you receive.  Public Safety will then provide the information to TeleCom, who can then initiate tracing procedures.

HAVING CALLS TRACED
Annoyance calls are often placed by someone you know.  The majority of calls stop on their own, however, if the calls persist, the Public Safety Department can make arrangements with TeleCom to start a trace procedure. 

The objective of the trace procedure is to attempt to identify the number from which the annoying calls are originating and stop the calls.  Once it's determined where the calls are coming from, TeleCom will contact the Department of Public Safety and advise them of the origin of
the calls.

Annoying calls often can be stopped without involving TeleCom.  Most are just nuisance calls that will cease if you use the techniques listed above.  However, if you try these methods and the calls continue, call Public Safety.

For more information about safety tips, contact Captain Robert Gibson at 588-5030 e-mail rgibson1@kumc.edu

Last modified: Mar 19, 2013
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