Not every phone call you receive is welcome or wanted and sometimes you get pestered by people you don’t want to hear from or the caller is threatening or harassing you.
No one wants to have to deal with this sort of unpleasant scenario but there are some practical solutions that can help you get rid of unwanted calls and messages.
Here is a look at how to discourage unwanted calls in the first place, plus an overview of what constitutes harassment and some tips on ways to stop unwanted callers in their tracks.
There are some basic precautions that you can take to eliminate the prospect of becoming the target of unwanted calls in the first place.
A good tip would be to avoid confirming your full name when you first answer the call and if you record a voicemail greeting on your phone, avoid giving out these details with your message.
Definitely, don’t volunteer any personal information about yourself to an unknown caller, this involves refusing to confirm or identify your number or address to a caller to someone who is unknown to you.
Avoid being drawn into a conversation with anyone you can’t verify or who you suspect might be hostile. You could also consider installing an Android call recorder app on your phone so that you can easily keep a record of the conversation for future reference if it is needed.
When the caller goes too far
Cold-callers pestering you to buy something are unwanted and a nuisance to contend with, but if you are getting threatening or obscene calls or texts, that is a different level altogether.
If you do happen to receive a call of a serious nature where a threat to your personal safety or property is made, this needs to be reported to the Police.
There are laws in place designed to protect you from these sort of activities and as well as threatening calls, if you are subjected to sexually explicit language or behavior, including obscene pictures sent by text message, these are all grounds for contacting the Police immediately.
Any threatening or obscene call that you receive needs to be taken seriously so that action can be taken immediately to deal with the problem before it is allowed to go any further.
What is harassment?
Sometimes it is possible to be subjected to unwanted phone calls that wouldn’t necessarily be classed as harassment.
For instance, getting phone calls from debt collectors chasing you for money that you owe, would be most likely unwanted calls as far as you are concerned, by they are unlikely to be viewed as harassment unless the frequency of the calls is beyond normal levels.
The same applies to computer-generated phone calls and random telemarketing calls.
You can do something to stop these telemarketing calls being made to you but these annoying interruptions are not likely to be considered as actual harassment.
To stop unwanted marketing calls, register your number on the National Do Not Call Registry and you can then file a complaint if you are still getting calls 31 days after your registration was confirmed.
If you are subjected to harassing calls, don’t engage with them, and log information about the calls so that you can pass on this information to the authorities if the problem persists.
Eliza Williams is a law student who is sharing her knowledge online to help people understand their rights whether they’re having a problem with a stalker, harassing phone calls or something else.