Public Safety

Public Safety

Crank Phone Calls

HOW TO COPE WITH THE CRANK PHONE CALL

1. HANG UP

As soon as you hear an obscenity, improper question or no response - HANG UP! It may take the caller 5 or 6 times to get the message, but be consistent and hang up every time. They usually get tired of getting no response and stop calling.

2. DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS

Be careful when the caller says he is taking a survey. If you have any concern about the legitimacy of a person asking for personal information over the phone, ask the person for his name, firm name and telephone number. Say that you will call back after you verify the authenticity of the survey.

3. DON'T PLAY DETECTIVE

Don’t extend the call trying to figure out who is calling. This or any type of reaction is exactly what the caller wants.

4. KEEP COOL

Don’t let the caller know you are upset or angry.

5. DON'T TRY TO BE CLEVER

A witty response may well be interpreted as a sign of encouragement.

6. DON'T TRY TO BE A COUNSELER

The annoyance or obscene caller certainly needs professional help, but he will only be encouraged by your concern and will continue calls.

7. DON'T TELL EVERYONE ABOUT YOUR CALLS

Many calls of this type are actually made by friends, family members, even your closest girlfriend or boyfriend.

8. PLACE ADS WITH CAUTION

When placing an ad in a newspaper or on a bulletin board, use a newspaper or post office box number if possible. If you must use your phone number, do not list your address. Crank callers are avid readers of the classified ads.

9. DON'T LET YOUR ANSERING MACHINE OR VOICE MAIL GIVE YOU AWAY

Don’t say: “I’m out of the office”; “I’m not at home at the present time”; “I’m away for the weekend”. Also refrain from using names or giving out the phone number. If the prank call is random, you’ve just given the caller a name and a return phone number. Suggestions: “Your message is important to me, please leave your name and number”; “I’m glad you called, Please leave your name and number”; “I’m not available at the present time, but will return your call as soon as possible”.

10. IF THREATS OF PHYSICAL HARM OR VIOLENCE OF ANY KIND ARE MADE, CONTACT THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY