How to Stop Harassing Phone Calls from Google Voice & Skype Numbers

Updated on May 4, 2016
Image compliments of revold.net
Image compliments of revold.net

A Complete Guide to Google Voice and Stopping Unwanted Calls

In my last article, I wrote about stopping internet spam and scams in general. In this article I wanted to go into detail about Google Voice and the ever-increasing harassment, unwanted calls and how scammers are utilizing this service as well as ways you can combat the harassment from Google Voice phone numbers.

What is a Google Voice Phone Number?

Google Voice is a service provided by Google that allows users to select a free phone number. This number then connects to existing devices (work phone, home phone, cell phone, etc).


Why Use Google Voice?

There's numerous legitimate reasons for someone to opt to use Google Voice. For example, let's say you must cancel your cell phone for whatever reason; you will lose your cell phone number. This is always a hassle! With a Google Voice Number, you can "port" (move your contacts) from one phone to a different phone without ever losing your Google Voice Number - so friends, family, coworkers, etc never even have to update your contact information.

If you operate a small business and you do not want to use you "real" phone number, you can get a free Google Voice Phone Number and link this number to your cell phone. You will still receive your calls, but your "real number" is "hidden".

You can also use Google Voice's "answering machine" instead of your own phones. The reason this is cool is because Google will transcribe the voicemail for you and send you the "text", preventing time wasted on checking the voicemail or misinterpretation.

In addition, SMS / Text messages can also be sent to the Google Voice Number.

There are several more "pros" to using Google Voice, but this gives you a fairly good idea of the service.

SKYPE

Skype is a "internet calling" company that allows users to make free calls to other Skype users and for a small amount of money, the user can make internet calls to anyone.

The problem with Skype (when it comes to "internet harassment" and stalking) is that EACH TIME a number is dialed, the outgoing number changes. This makes it easy for an individual to "stalk" another individual without having to reveal their identity In addition, the ever-changing-numbers confuse the person being harassed.

Google Voice and Skype Phone Linking

Now that we know that Skype can produce a new number each time and that Google Voice is a free service, all that is left to do is "link" (AKA "connect") the two together. This can simply be done by logging into Google Voice and clicking "Add Another Phone". Type in a name (like "Skype"), give it your number, and uncheck "Receive text messages on this phone".

Next you need to "Activate" the phone through Google Voice which is easy.

Have Skype is running on your computer or your phone. You need to make sure it's running on the device you plan to use it on. Google Voice will then make a call to confirm your phone. Once you do, you may hear the voice on the other end say it didn't go through—but if it shows up in your Google Voice settings, you should be fine. To test, you can click the "Call" button in Voice's web interface to make a call, and choose Skype as the phone to call with. If Skype doesn't ring, then you can head back to the settings and try again.

Google Voice Harassment / Stalking Phone Calls

If you are looking to simply end the harassment from the current Google Voice number, you will want to follow Google's directions and use the Global Spam Filtering System. The Spam Flitering System makes it possible to automatically redirect calls, texts, and voicemails from any of the numbers in the Google database that have been identified as spam directly into your spam folder. To enable this feature simply following the 3 directions below:

  1. Click the wrench icon and select Voice Settings.
  2. Click the Call tab.
  3. Check the box next to Global Spam Filtering.

If a number ends up incorrectly marked as spam, you can easily unblock it by selecting the message and clicking the Not Spam button in your spam folder.

Block Google Voice Callers Video

Google and Law Enforcement / Police

If you have done EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER to attempt to stop the harassment (including, but not limited to):

1. Asking the person to cease calling / texting (make sure you have PROOF of your request)

2. Filing a complaint with Google directly (make sure you retain proof of the complaint via a Screenshot or even take a good photo(s) with your phone or camera)

3. Reporting the abuser

4. Blocking the abuser

AND if the culprit returns as a "new" stalker / harasser, then you will want to take the following actions:

First, contact local police with all of the above information. Be sure to have available all of the ways you have been harassed (including phone records, emails, texts, etc). You will want to make backup copies of each so you can leave one copy of everything with police.

Second, if the harassment continues, contact the police again. Find out what the police plan to do to stop the harassment.

Third, if you cannot get resolution in a timely manner, then hire a lawyer to send a Legal Demand to Google:

Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

fax: +1 650 253 0001

You can also ask your lawyer to telephone Google directly and request a specific name of someone all legal demands and requests can be sent to. Googles phone number is +1 650 253 0000


Reporting Harassment to Skype

If you are being harassed / stalked by a variety of numbers, it is most likely that the culprit is utilizing Skype to contact you. You will first want to log the numbers and TIMES of calls received, then contact Skype Support or send a HIGHLY DETAILED log of times, numbers and the exact harassment to abuse@skype.net

You also will want to REPORT the user directly if you use Skype by using the "REPORT ABUSE" box:

HOW TO REPORT SKYPE ABUSE

The REPORT box is located at the bottom of the box.  Photo compliments of Skype.
The REPORT box is located at the bottom of the box. Photo compliments of Skype.

Skype and Legal Action: Involving Law Enforcement

If you seem to be "hitting a brick wall" with stopping Skype Harassment, you can have a Legal Demand sent to Skype directly at:

Skype Inc.
3210 Porter Drive
Palo Alto, California 94304, USA

As stated in the Legal and Terms section of Skype, it is against policy (as well as the law) to use the site to harass / stalk / cause problems.

In particular, see section "6.3 Prohibited Use: You may not:

(c) send unsolicited communications (also referred to as “SPAM”, “SPIM” or “SPIT”) or any communication not permitted by applicable law or use the Software, Products or Skype Websites for the purposes of phishing or pharming or impersonating or misrepresenting affiliation with another person or entity;

(e) use the Software, Products or Skype Websites to cause or intend to cause embarrassment or distress to, or to threaten, harass or invade the privacy of, any third party..."


Harassment / Stalking DEFINED

Before you can make a genuine "case" of harassment or "stalking" you need to understand what harassment and stalking ARE and ARE NOT.

Harassment is legally defined as "the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands"

Stalking is legally defined as "Stalking is a distinctive form of criminal activity composed of a series of actions that taken individually might constitute legal behavior... ...Most states require that the stalker pose a threat or act in a way that causes a reasonable person to feel fearful. The threat does not have to be written or verbal to instill fear. For example, a stalker can convey a threat by sending the victim black roses, forming his hand into a gun and pointing it at her, or delivering a dead animal to her doorstep."


Magic Jack Being Used for Phone Harassment

Magic Jack is another alternative for "internet calling" which is yet another tool used by scammers / harassers. In fact, the harassment became so bad that the Attorney General in Mississippi released an announcement about it in 2011.

See, When you purchase a Magic Jack, you can make and receive phone calls; and just like with Google Voice, you can choose a telephone number from almost any area code. This is a feature that is being exploited by scammers and harassers who want to hide their location.

Back in March of 2010, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received at least 48 phone calls from the same telephone number and opened a case against the harasser. The Magic Jack phone number was then traced back to the culprit.



How YOU Can Fight Phone Harassment for FREE

You can have a Trap Line / Blind Line set up.

HOW TRAPS AND BLINDS WORK:

Both of these are tools used by investigative agencies to catch culprits. The idea behind using a trap line is that if you capture the telephone number that the party is dialing from, you have a fact that they were at this location at the time of the call.

HOW TO SET UP A TRAP LINE:

"Local phone companies have varying policies on whether to call the phone company or the police first. Some recommend that you first call the phone company's business office and explain the problem. A representative will connect you with the "annoyance desk." Other phone companies may require you to file a formal complaint with local law enforcement before they will deal with the matter. To find out what your phone company's policy is, contact the business office and ask for assistance. AT&T policies are available online at their Annoyance Call Bureau site. Click on "Annoyance Call Types" for specific guidance. Verizon policies are available at their Unlawful Call Center.

If the calls are frequent or particularly threatening, the phone company can set up a "Trap" on your phone line. The Trap allows the phone company to determine the telephone number from which the harassing calls originate. You must keep a log noting the time and date the harassing calls are received. Traps are usually set up for no more than two weeks. The phone company does not charge a fee for Traps. "

CAST YOUR VOTE AND HELP US!

Have You Been a Victim of Phone Harassment?

See results

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • StephanieP profile image

        StephanieP 

        4 years ago from Los Angeles, California

        Finally some useful tips that I can use for my Google voice account. I will try this and hopefully the calls will stop. Thank you again for this information.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://turbofuture.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)