Unwanted, malicious, and nuisance phone calls

Characteristics of unwanted, malicious and nuisance phone calls

  • Repeated, persistent or excessive amounts of calls from an unknown caller or callers
  • Recurring calls from people who claim to have dialled the wrong number, hang up, or call at unsociable hours
  • Calls that contain marketing activity, automated messages, obscene suggestions, personal threats, or abusive language
  • Calls from people offering information you don’t want, or attempting to obtain personal or sensitive information from you

What should you do if you receive unwanted, nuisance, or malicious calls?

While it can be difficult to tell the difference between a nuisance caller and a genuine person you have simply not spoken with before, there are some good ground rules to follow:

  • Don’t accept offers for free information or services, as this is often a starting point for further harassment
  • Don’t visit websites callers ask you to visit unless you trust them
  • Don’t disclose sensitive information (such as passwords) to callers
  • In short, don’t engage in conversation with someone whose identity you don’t trust

If you do receive a call that is threatening in nature and/or makes you feel unsafe, you should always discuss it with your manager to determine an appropriate course of action.

How do callers obtain people’s phone numbers?

Callers frequently use automated dialers to systematically work through dialing a range of numbers. The caller is alerted when a call has been picked up. This allows them to work more quickly through a greater volume of numbers, as historically, they had to dial the numbers manually.

Why are unwanted, malicious and nuisance phone calls so hard to prevent?

To block an illegitimate caller, their phone number needs to be detected first. Callers may use one of the following tactics to avoid detection:

  • Hiding their phone number
  • Disguising their phone number 
  • Impersonating legitimate or critical phone numbers to avoid the chances of ever being blocked.

Many legitimate organisations also make calls from numbers that are hidden. Blocking all hidden numbers from calling Massey would not be acceptable, as organisations such as hospitals, banks and other government departments would no longer be able to call the University.

What is being done about unwanted, malicious and nuisance calls?

Due to the reasons discussed, it is very difficult at this time for ITS to implement any measures to prevent unwanted calls from reaching Massey staff. Unless we can reliably pinpoint the true origin of all calls, our efforts will be mostly ineffective. Massey is committed to working with our upstream telecommunications provider to reduce nuisance calls, but is also heavily reliant on them making changes before any benefit will be seen by Massey staff.

Our upstream provider can investigate nuisance calls and take action when the calls originate from within New Zealand. However, the majority of nuisance calls received at Massey originate from overseas. When this occurs, upstream providers are often unable to assist, as unless they have agreements in place with international service providers, they are not usually able to investigate or take any action.

Contact the Service Desk

Phone 06-356-9099 ext. 82111 (preferred method)

7:45am - 5pm, Monday to Friday
(excluding Public and University holidays)

Out-of-hours Support


AskUs Self-Service to log a request online (staff)

Full contact details


Other ITS Information

IT Services Dashboard (staff)

Forms

FAQs

Policies

Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 contact@massey.ac.nz Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey