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harassing phone call

Legal Steps to Take Against Spam Calls

Harassing phone calls can be a serious disruption to your life, causing stress, anxiety, and a sense of insecurity. If you’re being subjected to harassing phone calls, you don’t have to suffer in silence. The law provides tools to protect you and hold the perpetrators accountable. This article explores the legal steps you can take to stop harassing phone calls and find peace of mind.

Understanding Harassment

Not every unwanted call constitutes harassment. Here’s what defines a harassing phone call in the legal sense:

  • Frequency and Severity: Harassment involves repeated, unwanted calls that cause you distress or invade your privacy. A single call, even if annoying, might not qualify.
  • Threats and Obscenity: Calls containing threats of violence, intimidation, or obscene language are clear examples of phone harassment.
  • Unwanted Contact: Even if non-threatening, persistent calls from someone you’ve requested no contact from can be considered harassment.

Gathering Evidence for Action

If you’re being harassed by phone, it’s crucial to document the calls to build a strong case:

  • Record the Calls: If possible, record the harassing calls following your state’s laws on call recording. These recordings serve as concrete evidence.
  • Note Details: Keep a detailed log of the calls, including the date, time, phone number (if displayed), and the content of the calls (if safe to do so).
  • Screenshots and Voicemails: Save screenshots of caller ID displays (if possible) and any threatening voicemails.

Reporting Mechanisms and Legal Options

Once you have documented the harassment, there are several avenues you can pursue:

  • Contact Your Phone Carrier: Inform your phone carrier about the harassment. They might offer solutions like call blocking or tracing.
  • Consider Legal Action: Depending on the severity of the harassment, consulting with an attorney might be necessary. They can advise you on legal options like a cease-and-desist letter, restraining order, or even a lawsuit.

Cease-and-Desist Letters and Restraining Orders

  • Cease-and-Desist Letter: An attorney can draft a formal cease-and-desist letter demanding the harasser stop contacting you. While not legally binding, it can serve as a deterrent and document your efforts to stop the harassment.
  • Restraining Orders: In some cases, you might be able to obtain a restraining order against the harasser. This court order legally prohibits them from contacting you in any way, including by phone.
  • Lawsuits: If the harassment is severe or continues despite other efforts, a lawsuit might be necessary. An attorney can help you pursue damages for emotional distress and other losses caused by the harassment.

Protecting Yourself from Debt Collectors and Bail Bondsmen

It’s important to distinguish between phone harassment and legitimate calls from debt collectors or bail bondsmen. These entities have legal rights to contact you, but there are regulations governing their behavior:

  • Debt Collection: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) restricts the time, frequency, and manner in which debt collectors can contact you. If a debt collector is harassing you, report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at [invalid URL removed].
  • Bail Bondsmen: While bail bondsmen can contact you, they are also subject to regulations regarding communication methods and collection practices.


Harassing phone calls can be a frightening experience. Remember, you are not alone. By documenting the calls, reporting the harassment to the appropriate authorities, and considering legal options, you can take back control of the situation and prevent further harassment.