Steps When You Receive Threatening Phone Calls

Threatening phone calls can be a terrifying experience. Hearing someone make violent threats or harass you can leave you feeling unsafe and unsure of what to do. If you receive a threatening phone call, staying calm and taking the right steps is crucial. This article explores what to do when faced with a threatening call and how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Gauging the Severity of the Situation

Not every angry call constitutes a threat. Here’s how to gauge the severity of a threatening phone call:

  • Direct Threats: If the caller explicitly threatens violence against you or your loved ones, this is a serious situation requiring immediate action.
  • Harassment and Intimidation: Repeated calls with harassing language or veiled threats can also be considered threatening, especially if they cause you fear or anxiety.
  • Obscene Language: While not a direct threat, obscene and harassing language can still be intimidating and a sign of potential escalation.

Gathering Evidence for Authorities

If the call is threatening, it’s crucial to document it for the authorities:

  • Record the Call (if Legal): In some states, recording phone calls is legal with one-party consent (meaning you, the recipient). If your state allows it, record the call for evidence. Check your state’s laws regarding call recording before attempting this.
  • Note Details: Immediately write down the date, time, phone number (if displayed), and the exact content of the threats. Details like the caller’s voice (calm, angry) or any background noises can also be helpful.
  • Screenshots and Voicemails: Save screenshots of caller ID displays (if possible) and any threatening voicemails.

Reporting the Threat and Protecting Yourself

Don’t wait to take action. Here’s what to do after receiving a threatening call:

  • Report to the Police: Immediately contact your local police department and report the threatening call. Provide them with the documented evidence you gathered.
  • Consider Legal Options: In some cases, depending on the severity of the threats and the perpetrator’s identity, a restraining order or lawsuit might be necessary. Consult with an attorney to explore your legal options.
  • Increase Your Security: Review your home security measures and consider taking steps like installing security cameras or changing your locks.

Seek Support and Stay Alert

Receiving a harassing phone call can be emotionally draining. Here’s how to stay safe and manage the emotional impact:

  • Talk to Someone You Trust: Discuss the incident with a trusted friend, family member, or therapist. Talking about it can help you process the experience and feel supported.
  • Be Alert but Not Obsessed: While staying alert is important, don’t let fear control your life. Trust your instincts and take precautions, but don’t become consumed by anxiety. If the threats seem credible, consider temporary relocation or staying with a friend or family member.
  • Consider Crisis Resources: If the incident is causing significant emotional distress, consider seeking help from a crisis hotline or mental health professional.

When You Need an Apartment Shooting Attorney

If the threats are related to a specific incident, such as a neighbor dispute or a past altercation, consulting with an attorney specializing in areas like apartment shooting attorney services might be necessary. They can help you navigate legal options and ensure your safety.


Threatening phone calls are a serious matter. By taking immediate action, documenting the call, reporting it to the authorities, and seeking support, you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Remember, your safety is paramount. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you feel threatened or unsafe.

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