Annoying or harassing telephone calls are a common problem on college campuses. Most harassing phone calls do not present a physical threat and the caller often knows the victim. Occasionally, the caller simply contacts the victims at random.
The state and the University consider these to be harassment by communication or address which is defined as:
- Making phone calls without a legitimate purpose
- Repeatedly making anonymous phone calls
- Repeatedly phoning at extremely inconvenient hours
- Repeatedly phoning using offensive, coarse, or obscene language
Harassment by communication or address, a third-degree misdemeanor, is punishable by imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500.
How to Deal with Harassing Phone Calls
If you begin receiving annoying or harassing calls, contact Police Services. An officer will meet with you to discuss the situation and to determine the best course of action to be taken. You will be asked to keep a log of your calls, which includes information such as the time of each call, description of the caller's voice, and background noises. Depending upon the situation, Police Services, with the assistance of Verizon, may be able to determine the origin of the calls.
If you receive threatening or obscene calls, contact Police Services immediately, even if you have already spoken to an officer.
Tips for dealing with harassing phone calls:
- Never engage the caller in conversation.
- Never answer personal questions or give out information to an unknown caller.
- Unplug your phone if necessary.