Medford Police Department
100 Main Street, Medford, Massachusetts USA 02155
Chief Leo A. Sacco, Jr.

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Annoying/Harassing Telephone Calls

Legal Basis

To fulfill the requirements of the MGL ch. 269, s14a, the victim (person receiving the calls), must receive three or more telephone calls that cause the victim to be harassed or annoyed.

Obtaining a Trap

New Method


How STAR (*57) can work for you

Basically it’s very easy for the person receiving the threatening/harassing calls to use the Call Trace - feature.


• After a threatening/harassing phone call occurs and the call has been terminated (i.e., you and the caller have hanged up) leave the phone on the hook for about 10 seconds to ensure that the call terminates

• Pick up the phone and check for a dial tone. If there is no dial tone, hang up, and check again until you get a dial tone.

• When a dial tone is heard, dial *57 and listen for a message regarding the trace. The telephone company automated voice will tell you whether the trace was successful or not and give you a telephone number to call.

• Report all this information to the local police department for each call you trace.

Old Method for Phone Services without *57 (similar service)

To obtain a trap on your telephone line, you must contact the business office of your telephone carrier.  This number can be found on your telephone bill or by calling directory assistance.  You will also have to provide them with the above Department Report (DR) number. Your telephone carrier may charge you for each call trapped. You may find the following telephone numbers helpful:

  • Verizon customers call         1-800-518-5507
  • AT&T customers call            1-888-851-7319

When the Telephone Company notifies you that a trap was successful, they will provide you with a case number.  At that time call 781-391-6767 and leave a message with Detective Mackowski making sure to leave your name, a daytime telephone number and the case number.

Please note that many telephone numbers cannot be trapped. Some are blocked by the calling party and often if the call originates from a pay phone or a cell phone the number is not immediately accessible.

Do Not Call List

If you wish to no longer receive telephone calls from telemarketers you may sign up for the “Massachusetts Do Not Call List” through Commonwealth of Massachusetts office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation at:

 You may also take your information off of telemarketing lists by using the following link through the Federal Communications Commission ($5.00 charge) at:


If more unwanted calls are received by you, please check with your phone service to see if they have the following features:

  • Caller ID Name/Number

  • Anonymous Call Block

  • Call Blocking/Screening

  • Automatic Call Return

  • Call Intercept