Tanglewood-Hillsdale Community Association’s Neighbourhood Watch reminds you that many of us are listed on-line though Canada 411 or in the phone book.
While convenient, it requires us to be vigilant when listing ourselves in the phone book and receiving phone calls.
Treating a stranger on the phone the same way you would at the door.
- Watch what you say. Warn family members not to give out information to strangers: about whom is home, who is not, or how long anyone is expected to be gone.
- Do not give your credit card number over the phone to anyone unless you initiated the call and are absolutely positive that you are dealing with a reputable organization — for example, when making reservations for a plane flight or buying tickets through an agency.
- Your Voice Mail or phone answering machine should only record “We can’t take your call right now, but we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” This is also a useful outgoing message for a single woman, since it conveys the impression that she is not living alone. Some women who live alone ask a male friend to record their message.
- Consider having an unlisted address in the phone book, or getting an unlisted phone number. Also consider all of the places that your co-ordinates might be seen by the public and then use your discretion about where and how you want to list them.
- Should you receive an indecent, or other unusual talk, do not talk or listen to such calls; hang up immediately. Many nuisance calls are made by individuals who pick names randomly from the phone book. If you do not react and simply hang up, most of the time they will not call back. If the caller continues to annoy, you report it to the police and your phone company. If these phone calls continue, consider installing call display, or screening your calls.
- Arm your Security alarm system when not at home.
When do you call the police? Police should be notified if you receive an unusual number of “wrong number” calls, hang-ups, late night calls from strangers, obscene or other unusual phone calls. Call the police immediately if someone threatens you or your family. Consider calling 211 for a remedy. If necessary, you can change your phone number.
2/12 THCA’s Neighbourhood Watch
  Material for this factsheet was adapted from Neighbourhood Watch website, Ottawa Police website and the Federation of Calgary Federation of Community Associations’ Building Safer Communities Website.