Trace a call that can't be traced?
October 10, 2008 1:00 PM   Subscribe

What can I possible do about someone that is repeatedly calling my place of employment and hanging up?

I'm sitting here at my place of employment, a federally run "health clinic," and within the past hour have received 6 phone calls, all of which hung up after 2 seconds. This has been happening off and on for the past month.

The call goes like this:
- Phone rings
- We pick up and say, "Thank you for calling blah blah, this is blah blah, how can I help you?"
- 2 seconds goes by with a TV audible in the background, and then the caller hangs up

We've noticed that if a female picks up the phone, the caller doesn't hang up right away.

According to the telecommunications chief, who works in a different building but is responsible for our telephone system, there is nothing that can be done. Additionally, we're on a multi-line system so caller id isn't possible. Phone junkies, are you out there? Is this a shot in the dark or can I do something?
posted by hammerthyme to Technology (6 answers total)
Caller ID or blocking inside your network might be impossible, but your phone company can most certainly identify and block it. Note the very precise times, and the number the call came in on (with help from your telco guy if needed), and bring that info into your conversation with your phone company.

The will refused to tell you who it is, but you can definitely make a "whoever this is, please block this number" request.
posted by rokusan at 1:22 PM on October 10, 2008

When you first pick up, say "This call is being recorded and may be traced for your protection. (pause) This is Federal agency yaddaa yadda, how can I help you?"

Just because it can't be traced does not mean that the other party knows it can't be traced. Also, perhaps escalate in your organization and see if someone can't get the phone chief to try a little harder.
posted by gyusan at 1:26 PM on October 10, 2008

Sounds like that person has a health question and is scared to ask it.
posted by k8t at 2:18 PM on October 10, 2008

Sounds like that person has a health question and is scared to ask it.

Or he has a beef with the clinic or services they provide and gets off on harassing them.

And sometimes you can find a reverse look-up service that will give you the person's address. Assuming you can get that from your telco guy. Then send a letter or give him a call, tell him you don't appreciate the contact.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:23 PM on October 10, 2008

First, act as if you want to help "This is XYZ Clinic. We offer services to _____. We'd be happy to help you with your health concerns."
If it continues, "Harassing phone calls are subject to the Federal Communications Commission, etc."

Your Phone Guy can find out the originating number. Laws about harassing phone calls always exist; find out what the deal is, and be prepared to call the harassing number to a. offer medical help if needed, and b. cite the penalty for continued abuse.

It could be somebody accidentally hitting the phone with redial enabled, or it could be a creep. The teevee in the background suggests it's not a fax or other automated call. When I worked retail, we'd get runs of calls from screwed-up guys. It's skeevy, and the receptionists shouldn't have to put up with it.
posted by theora55 at 2:41 PM on October 10, 2008

I am guessing that the quote marks around "health clinic" mean that it's not impossible this is a creepy crazy person... so don't NOT take it seriously!
posted by rokusan at 3:38 PM on October 10, 2008

« Older Wifi is Voodoo…and someone's sticking pins in my...   |   Angel: base miles Devil:CYCLOCROSS who should I... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.