Phone pranks can annoy you, especially if they keep doing them over and over again. Threatening, obscene, or harassing calls can be a serious problem. You will be able to identify and stop a person making such calls by taking a few steps that are easy.
Method 1 of 2: Stop Phone Pranks on a Landline Phone
Step 1. Contact the police
If it is an obscene or threatening call, it may be violating some local or state laws. Contact your local police department to file a report, especially if the person calling you is no longer just annoying, but threatening you.
Step 2. Contact your phone company
Several phone companies have offices dedicated to investigating malicious calls. Ask your phone company to tell you what services it offers to help you handle phone pranks.
- If you live in the United States, AT&T has a phone prank page with information and measurements.
- Also, if you live in the United States, there is an Illegal Call Center page on Verizon with information on both illegal and spam calls.
Step 3. Filter the calls
To avoid talking to that person, filter calls with an answering machine, voicemail, or caller ID.
Step 4. Use a phone company service to find out who is called
These companies offer various services that can help you find out who is calling. The availability and cost of these services may vary depending on the company.
- A "cheat" is a service that allows phone companies to know a person's number if they repeatedly call. Once the trap is set, it will record the times and dates of the calls so the company can use them to find out that person's number.
- A trace can help you discover the number of the last person who called your landline. If you live in the United States, call * 57 (1157 on a pulse or rotary phone) immediately after receiving the nuisance call and follow the instructions in the recorded message from your phone company.
- Caller ID is a service that you can configure in advance to know who is calling you as soon as the phone starts ringing. Find out what payment or equipment is needed to request this service at your company.
- Anonymous call rejection or privacy manager are services that can help you discover blocked numbers or prevent them from calling you. These services require that the numbers of the people, who have blocked them so that the caller ID does not register them, be revealed to make a call. If a person's number is often listed as “anonymous,” “private,” “out of area,” or “not available,” the service will ask you to provide their name before allowing your call to enter.
Step 5. Block phone pranks
Once you know that person's number, hire a service from your phone company that will prevent them from calling you again.
If you live in the United States, call blocking (* 60), also called call filtering, is a service that will allow you to block numbers from calling you. Use this service by dialing * 60 in the United States or by contacting your phone company to set it up
Method 2 of 2: Stop Phone Pranks on a Cell Phone
Step 1. Contact the police
If it is an obscene or threatening call, it may be violating some local or state laws. Contact your local police department to file a report if it is a threatening call. Receiving harassing cell phone calls may also be covered by the harassment by electronic communications laws in your state.
Step 2. Filter the calls
Your cell phone should show the phone number of the person calling you. Don't answer that number so you don't have to talk to him.
Step 3. Send that person directly to voicemail
Add their number as a contact. Several cell phones have options in the contact list to change the outcome of an incoming call, including assigning a different ringtone or sending the call directly to voicemail.
If your cell phone does not have the option to send calls from a certain contact to voicemail, set the tone of their call to silence so that it does not ring when they call
Step 4. Block phone pranks
While cell phone companies don't offer the same call blocking or call screening service that landline phone companies do, you can block particular numbers from calling you. Several companies offer services for parents who want to restrict their child's cell phone use, including the ability to prevent certain numbers from calling.
Step 5. Use an app
Look in the app store for one that allows call management and blocking. The applications available will depend on the type of cell phone you use. However, various free applications can block calls from a particular number.