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Nuisance Phone Calls

Nuisance calls, obscene calls and threatening calls range from relatively harmless pranks initiated by children, though offensive and potentially harmful acts, to clearly dangerous threats that must be countered.

Nuisance calls are commonly made by children and are probably harmless. You may, however, want to report them to the police.


Do not encourage a return call. If the calls persist to the point that they become harassment, report them to the police. Privacy Manager, Call Display, and Last Call Return are services available on your phone that you may find helpful.

Obscene calls represent abnormal behavior that could be potentially dangerous. People who make obscene calls find gratification from the response to the recipient. The best initial reaction is to hang up immediately. Telephone companies have recommended that women list their names in the telephone directory without the prefix "Miss" or "Mrs." and to use initials only of first names. Another possibility for those bothered by obscene calls is to obtain an unlisted telephone number.

If obscene calls persist, report the calls to the police in order to obtain a case number. After you obtain the case number, call your local telephone service provider and request a telephone "trap" to be placed on the telephone number receiving the unwanted calls. In order to improve the chance of finding the source of these calls, carefully follow the instructions provided by the telephone service provider. Also, consider recording these telephone calls. These recordings would be helpful in positively identifying the person calling, as well as enhancing their prosecution in a criminal court.

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