Obscene Phone Calls

It is a violation of Minnesota Laws to make harassing telephone calls. Unfortunately, criminals have found the telephone a useful device to threaten or intimidate people. The following is presented as a guide to help you prepare for the possibility that you may receive one of these calls and to help you deal with the call effectively.

Threatening Calls

Anyone threatening to cause injury or death to a person or damage to their property is committing the most serious offense of this nature. These calls should always be reported to the police.

Obscene Calls

The victim of this crime is usually a female and is selected randomly until the perpetrator receives the reaction that he has been looking for. The caller uses his anonymity to fantasize about the person he has called. These calls should also be reported to your local telephone company.
Harassing or Annoying Calls
These calls should be reported initially to the phone company.

What To Do When A Call Is Received

• Most often the caller is looking for a reaction to the call. Do not react to it.
• Don't ask questions of the caller (i.e. Who is this?) as this is what they would like you to do.
• Hang up the receiver promptly and gently. Any other response may provide the caller with a sense of accomplishment since they may wish to either frighten or anger you.
• Never blow a whistle or yell into the phone. The caller will know that you are angry and may call back.
• If you begin receiving calls on a regular basis, make a log of the dates, times and content of the calls.

Where To Go For Help

• If you receive threatening phone calls notify the Winona Police Department at 507.457.6368.
• If you are receiving obscene, annoying, or harassing phone calls contact your phone company.
• If you live on campus, and are being harassed and wish to have your phone number changed you should contact the Director of Security.
• If you should have any questions concerning harassing, obscene or threatening phone calls you should contact the Director of Security for additional information.