The following information is provided as a guide to assist you in dealing with harassing, obscene or malicious telephone calls. Report any calls of this type that you might receive immediately to the Campus Safety Services or the Ottawa Police Service.

Threatening calls

A caller may make threats to cause injury or death to you or a person with whom you live or may threaten to damage your property. This is a serious offense and should not be taken lightly.

Obscene calls

Obscene calls are usually directed towards females who are selected randomly. Suspects may use the excuse that they are looking for someone; they may also use unknown identities in order to be able to fantasize sexual desires.

Harassing or annoying calls

Calls of this nature are less serious and the suspect is usually known by the victim.

What you can do if you receive a call

Ask for the caller’s identity or affiliation. If the caller makes an improper response or does not respond immediately, hang up.

Some silent callers are looking for a response and may want you to become scared or angry.

If the caller asks, “Who is this?” or “What number have I reached?” don’t answer. Instead ask, “Who do you want to speak to?” or “What number were you calling?”

Don’t give out any information to anyone you don’t positively recognize or who fails to give satisfactory identification. If the caller asks for another member of your family or a roommate, simply say that you’ll be glad to take a message and have the call returned as promptly as possibly.

Under no circumstances should you give the names of others living with you to someone who doesn’t know them.

If you have children, instruct them not to talk to strangers on the telephone. Burglars or other criminals will sometimes attempt to obtain useful information from unsuspecting children. Teach your children to ask for the caller’s name and number so someone can return the call later.

If a caller persists after you’ve made it clear you do not wish to talk, the simplest response is to hang up. Notify the police of any calls that you have received. Write information down, keep a log of the dates, times and the wording of the call.

Other precautions you could take

Subscribe to “Call Display,” which will enable you to see the number of the caller. It is possible to have your telephone number changed if you choose not to have “Call Display.” You may also consider having your telephone number unlisted. Answering machines serve as a buffer, permitting you to hear the caller’s voice and message before you choose whether or not to override the device and answer the caller directly.

How do you reach the Police

If you are a victim of a threatening, harassing or obscene telephone call or would like to receive any additional information on personal safety and security, please contact the Campus Safety Services at 520-3612 or the Ottawa Police Service at 236-1222