It is a crime under both state and federal laws for anyone to make obscene or harassing telephone calls. Offenders may be fined and/or imprisoned. If you ever receive obscene, abusive, harassing, or threatening calls, follow these suggestions:
- Hang up at the first obscene word, or if the caller remains silent the second time you say hello. Remember, you control your telephone, not the person calling.
- Do not give any information, such as your name or address, until the caller has been properly identified.
- Advise your children and guests not to give out any information. If you are not at home, those answering your telephone should be instructed to say: “They’re busy right now, may I take a message?”
Liberty Communications’ subscribers can trace harassing or obscene calls. The service is known as Customer Originated Trace (COT), and is included in your local service. Here’s how the process works:
- When you receive a harassing or obscene call, hang up.
- Pick up the handset, listen for dial tone and dial *57 from your touch tone phone (dial 1157 from a rotary phone). The code must be dialed before you receive another call, because COT will only trace the last incoming call.
- You will hear this message: “This is your call tracing service. To trace the last call received, dial 1; otherwise please hang up.” If you dial 1, you will hear this message: “The last incoming call has been traced.” The call is printed out on a printer at the telephone office, showing the customer’s number, the date and time of the call, and the number of the caller. (COT will capture all local calls (including unlisted), plus some long distance calls. If the call cannot be traced, you will hear, “We’re sorry, the last incoming call could not be traced because the call came from outside your serving area.” Partial traces still print out a record showing your number, the date and time of call.)
- The printout cannot be released to you – only to law enforcement agencies, so you must contact your local authorities.
- If Liberty Communications is provided with a subpoena and releases the call information to the authorities, a $2.00 charge will be applied to your account for a successful trace.