Worcester State University
University Police

 

 

Harassing Phone Calls 


Harassing emails ARE criminal harassment.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 14A, provides:

"Whomever telephones another person, or cause to be telephoned, repeatedly, for purposes of harassing, annoy, or molesting such persons... whether or not conversation ensues... repeatedly uses indecent or obscene language, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment not more than three months, or both."

Annoying Phone Calls

Do not admit to a stranger when you are alone. Also instruct children, when alone, to say Mom or Dad is busy and to ask the caller to leave a message or call back. Consider having an unlisted number and avoid giving home phone numbers to strangers. If asked to provide a phone number for a check or credit card transaction, give a work number. If your home number is on a personal check, have it removed in next supply.

HOW TO DEAL WITH HARASSING PHONE CALLS:

     •   Hang-up immediately on obscene callers. Many such callers 
         are seeking an emotional response and will discontinue 
         harassment if you avoid a reaction. 
     •   Allow your answering machine to screen your calls. Tell family 
         and friends you will pick-up when you hear them or after so 
         many rings. 
     •   Outgoing machine messages should never reveal your identity 
         or that you are away. Change the recording or use the voice of 
         a friend if necessary. 
     •   If getting repeated harassing or obscene calls, make a note of 
         the date, time, voice and background noises. Avoid conversing 
         with caller or lingering on phone. 

CONSUMER   PROTECTION

     •   NEVER give out personal financial information or credit card 
         numbers during unsolicited calls from people you don't know. 
     •   DON'T fall for con-artists claiming you have won a prize and 
         they need your credit card number. Tell callers to notify you by 
         mail of your good fortune. 
     •   Some charities solicit funds by phone. If interested, ask them 
         to send you details and a pledge card by mail. 

All these callers want is an audience. DON'T give them the satisfaction of letting them know you're annoyed, just HANG-UP! 

 



 
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