Nuisance/Obscene/Threatening Phone Calls

In Illinois, it is a violation of law to use your telephone, or knowingly allow your telephone to be used, for placing indecent, threatening, or harassing calls. Nuisance and obscene phone calls are classified in the Illinois criminal code as Class B Misdemeanors (720 ILCS 135/1-2). Threatening calls are classified as a Class 3 Felony (720 ILCS 135/12-16). If you receive harassing or threatening calls:

  1. Hang up immediately on obscene callers or strangers who ask questions about personal matters.
  2. Do not engage the caller in conversation.
  3. Pay attention to background noise and the caller’s voice (gender, etc.) that may assist in identifying the caller.
  4. If the call is recorded on the answering machine, save the tape.
  5. Keep a log or record of the call(s) that includes date, time, and comments.
  6. Do not volunteer your name or other personal data to any caller you do not know. If you have an interest, ask the caller for their phone number and you will get back to them.
  7. Do not tell others about your calls. Many disturbing calls are made by people you know.
  8. If the caller keeps calling, contact your phone carrier and/or University Police.
  9. If the call is a threat to your safety, contact University Police and your phone company.