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If you are receiving calls or text messages of a harassing or annoying nature, here are some steps to help you handle them, and what you can do if they do not stop.
If the calls are of a life threatening nature, contact the Police immediately.
There are five basic precautions to take to discourage unwanted telephone calls:
You can now report any spam text messages you receive by doing the following:
The spam and sending number will be entered into a registry and investigated by the Department of Internal Affairs.
A large number of unwanted calls/texts are to randomly selected numbers where the caller continues to dial that number and annoy the recipient of that call.
Stay calm and try not to show any agitation or distress if the call is malicious or abusive.
More advice on dealing with specific situations is available below:
|Threatening, abusive, or obscene calls or TXTs|
If you have received a call of a serious nature, contact your local Police station for advice. Such calls or text messages could be considered a criminal offence, or may involve criminal activity and should be discussed with the Police.
A call of a serious nature may include:
If the calls you are receiving are the subject of a Protection Order, we advise you to contact the Police, as the calls may be a breach of the Protection Order.
If you receive an unwanted message, don't reply, even if you know the number. Sometimes the best advice is to ignore it, but this depends on the circumstances. You can find out more information about mobile bullying below.
We take mobile bullying seriously and there's no need for you to put up with it. There are a lot of things you can do to help yourself and others to stop mobile bullying. Here are some tips to follow if you are receiving text messages or calls that are bullying.
Netsafe and Telecom recommend that you take the following steps to keep safe:
If the bullying persists, or you are worried you can:
|International Telephone Scams|
These calls are dialled randomly making no number immune to receiving them, even numbers that are not published by Directory Services. These callers may present themselves as representing valid companies in an attempt to obtain personal details or access to your computer. Detailed examples on some of the latest scams can be found at the Department of Internal Affairs website http://www.dia.govt.nz/Services-Anti-Spam-Reported-Scams.
These calls mainly originate from overseas call centres and are made via the internet, making them difficult to stop them coming through. If you have the Caller Display service, the number displayed may appear as invalid number i.e. they may be 3 - 5 digits in length or be unusual number ranges e.g. 0881234567.
The best way of dealing with these calls is to not engage in conversation and immediately hang up. Do not provide any personal information. If calls persist, you could
These are automated calls made by an overseas computer to random numbers. When the phone starts ringing the computer transfers the call to a person in a contact centre to talk to you. If there is no agent is available, and you answer the call, you will hear a moment of silence followed by a computer voice saying 'Goodbye'.
As these calls are computer generated, numbers are dialled in clusters for a defined period of time. As with international telephone scams, if the calls are originating via the internet they are difficult to stop. If you have the Caller Display service, the number displayed may appear as invalid number i.e. they may be 3 - 5 digits in length or be unusual number ranges e.g. 0881234567.
The best way to manage these calls is to hang up as they should naturally stop.
|No Speech Calls|
These are calls where either there is just background noise, the sound of breathing or the call is hung up shortly after you answer. These are usually a result of a wrong number being dialled or a child playing with a telephone. If you are experiencing these types of call, simply hang up and ignore them. If these calls persist we can investigate them. Dates and times of calls received over the last seven days must be provided to our team in order for us to begin an investigation. It is important to note, that if a return call is made to the number we may be are unable to assist. You can contact us by completing the Unwanted Call Log form.
|Computer Generated Calls|
These are commonly fax or modem calls and are easily recognised by the distinctive 'beeps' and 'screeches'. These calls tend to occur as a result of mis-dialling when trying to send a fax or access a computer network. Often there is a pattern to the calls as the machine redials repeatedly before alerting the issue to the originator.
The best way to deal with these calls is to:
As with all non-speech type calls, we can investigate if they are causing you ongoing concern. You can contact us by completing the Unwanted Call Log form. If the calls originate from the Internet, and are causing you great concern you may need to consider changing your number.
In the case of unwanted calls, Telecom makes the lessee of the originating telephone number aware of the situation (complaint) and advises that continuing to make such calls/texts could be illegal and is a breach of the Telecom terms and conditions. The aim is to prevent further calls being made and the Lessee is asked to investigate. If the calls continue, further action may be taken, such as issuing a formal warning or temporary disconnection of telephone service. In serious instances the Police may be involved and may pursue prosecution.
While changing your number is one sure way to stop unwanted calls, this solution comes with its own frustrations and due to the large majority of calls being randomly generated, is no guarantee they will not continue in the future. Telecom has a range of smartphone services which may assist you to manage unwanted calls, like Call Minder, Caller Display, and FaxAbility.
Call Minder gives you the ability to set your phone to 0 rings. This may help if unwanted calls are disturbing your sleep.
Caller Display gives you the ability to see the number of the caller, so you know whether to answer it or not.
FaxAbility gives you a second phone number (on the same phone line) which rings with a distinctive ring tone.