Lately, I’ve been receiving calls in my mobile phone from an unidentified number. Since it’s not listed in my phonebook, I don’t bother taking the call. What if it’s important, one might ask. Years of owning a mobile phone and managing prank calls have taught me these:
• If a message is truly that important, the caller will send an SMS (text message). Usually, a legitimate caller will introduce himself/ herself and explain why he/ she is trying to get in touch with you.
• Legitimate callers know when it’s the “right time” to call. If the phone starts ringing beyond an acceptable time (e.g. 9:00 p.m.) or if it’s far too early in the day (e.g. 6:00 a.m.) and it doesn’t have the prerequisite SMS (to please pick up), it’s most likely a prank caller . . . if not a stalker.
• It helps to turn your phone to “silent” mode if you must keep your line open, but you can’t bear listening to its insistent ringing. Personally, prank callers notwithstanding, I do switch from medium setting to “silent” mode when it’s time to retire at night. Or I switch it off altogether because SMSs will come in anyway even if the phone has been turned off.
• Remember: truly busy people won’t spend time tinkering with their phone and calling others at random. Similarly, the price-conscious ones won’t even waste precious airtime calling you “just to be friends” with you.
I know someone who can’t resist taking a call even if he knows it’s from a prank caller. It’s his nature to challenge people, put them in their place, and tell them to stop bothering him. I don’t want to adopt a similar “take the bull by the horns” approach because it’s emotionally draining. I simply follow the rules I learned over the years.
I admit taking an extreme measure several years ago when the prank caller turned out to be a stalker. Scary and annoying, yes! I couldn’t stand it anymore so I changed my number. Yes, it was an inconvenience on my part to inform family and friends I’ve changed my line. But it was worth it, especially when doing so meant peace of mind in the long run.
You might find the abovementioned tips helpful. At the same time, let me ask you: how do you manage prank callers?