Advice If Your Are Being Bullied Via A Mobile Phone

We've also come across instances where abusive mobile phone text messages have been sent through websites using the names and phone numbers of people who had nothing to do with the message but who were blamed for it.

Problems include

  • Silent calls
  • Insulting and threatening texts
  • Abusive verbal messages
  • Stolen identity
Be careful when giving out your telephone number. Mobile phones are relatively inexpensive and if you start getting abusive calls or text messages then it might be better to get another SIM card so that the bullies can't contact you.
Keep a note of the times and dates of abusive messages. Don't reply to them or delete them but tell your parents so that they can make a complaint to the police.

The law

If there are a series of calls or the calls are part of a bigger picture of bullying then this may amount to harassment which is an offence.
Every time a mobile phone is switched on or off it sends a signal to the nearest mast and although the caller may have concealed their number from you, this is information which phone companies will have on their system and it's easy for the police to find out the culprit's phone number.
Making anonymous or abusive phone calls is also a criminal offence.

The actual wording is that a person who:

a) sends, by means of a public telecommunication system, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character: or
b) sends by those means, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, a message that he knows to be false or persistently makes use for that purpose of a public telecommunication system, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.'
This shows the seriousness of the offences which may be seen as a joke by the perpetrators but which cause a lot of distress.

How to deal with a phone pest

 Experts recommends that you stay calm and try not to show emotion. Don't give your phone number when you answer a call, just say "hello".
Never give any information about yourself unless you are certain you know the caller. A telephone answering machine can be useful at home, leave it on all the time and then when the person starts speaking, if you know them, you can pick up the phone. A genuine caller will speak first. A malicious caller will probably hang up.

Staying safe with your phone

Although it's nice to have your mobile phone handy to chat to friends, don't flash it about in public because you risk having it swiped. If there's a lock facility on it choose a secret number so that the keypad is locked when you're not using it. If someone you don't know asks to borrow your phone to make a quick call tell them that it's out of credit and only accepts incoming calls.

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