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Harassing phone calls are very frustrating, and while there is nothing that can be done for an immediate fix when the caller is unknown there are some steps you can take to try to discourage future calls from the subject, and also to involve your telephone company to assist us in solving the problem.

One misperception is that the police department can trace calls. The phone company has that ability, and police agencies need documentation to provide a legal basis for such an investigation.

Some steps you can take if a harassing caller (has called a few times) is staying on the line with you are:

  • Trace through *57 (available with some phone carriers - check with yours);
  • Hang up without making any comment. The caller needs some reaction from his victim, so getting upset only encourages him;
  • With the suspect on the phone, push the “*” button on the phone and say as if you were talking to the operator, "Operator, this is the call I want  you to trace"; (this will not happen, but the caller won’t know that)
  • Change answering machine message to say, "You have reached our answering machine. Due to annoyance calls, the phone company is tracing all incoming calls. If you would like your call returned, please leave your name and number";
  • Advise the caller that you have Caller I.D. and will be reporting this call to the police;
  • Begin keeping a log of date, time, and nature of calls, for any future report that may be taken.

With caller ID, you can record the identity of the person making the harassing phone calls. Retain this information in case the problem escalates to the point of involving our detectives; they will need to get this information from you.