HARASSING OR OBSCENE PHONE CALLS

It is a violation of Florida law to make harassing, obscene or unwanted telephone calls.

The following information will help you deal with harassing telephone calls. First of all, don’t panic. The caller may have genuinely dialed the wrong number.

If you believe a single call or a series of calls are harassing or obscene in nature follow the below guidelines.

  • If there is no response to your greeting HANG UP!
  • As soon as you hear an obscenity or improper question HANG UP!
  • Do not try to identify the caller or conduct your own investigation on the telephone. Don’t extend the call trying to figure out who is calling. You would only be satisfying the caller’s needs.
  • Don’t try to be clever. A witty response may be interpreted as encouragement.
  • Don’t try to play counselor. The caller needs professional help in a clinical setting.
  • Don’t let the caller know that you are upset or angry.
  • Don’t openly discuss your calls with friends. Many calls are actually made by friends, family members, and even boy or girlfriends.
  • Don’t talk to strangers.
  • Be careful when the caller says he or she is taking a survey. If you have any concern about the legitimacy of the call, obtain the caller’s name, business name and phone number. Say that you will call back after you verify the authenticity of the survey.
  • Never volunteer your name to an unknown caller.
  • Report harassing or obscene telephone calls to UM Police. Make a record of all crank calls. An appropriate investigation will be made within the limits of investigative leads and technological capabilities.
  • If you receive harassing telephone calls on campus, you will need a police case number to have your number changed. Students living on campus must request a change from the Department of Residence Halls. All other number changes must be processed through the appropriate department to Telecommunications.
  • Take extra precautions. The caller may be a stalker or overprotective boy or girlfriend. Use escorts, walk with a buddy, keep your room doors locked, and keep your car doors locked. This point is not meant to instill fear; it is meant to increase your personal safety awareness.  Don’t become paranoid, just be cautious.