Below are tips of how to act when you are being followed. Keeping these steps in mind could be very important in both everyday life and in a disaster scenario. Share these with your family.
#1: Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This might sound silly, but with the expanding influence of technology like smart phones. People are paying less and less attention to what’s directly around them. Don’t let this happen to you. Keep your eyes open and alert.
This also applies to wearing headphones. Don’t cut off your ability to hear what’s around you even if you love to have tunes blaring while you jog. The first and most important safety step to stopping a stalker is to be alert. If you cannot see the danger in time to act, none of the following tips will be useful to you.
#2: Don’t Hesitate to Call The Police
Depending on the situation, calling the police may be the best action. Of course, if you are being tracked by a government agency, calling police will make things worse. In the case of stalking by a civilian however, it will give you immediate power of the situation.
Once you are sure that you are being followed, call the police for assistance. Even if you are confident you can handle the stalker on your own, if things get violent it can be difficult to explain after the fact. It could also be that your incident is not isolated. Your information could put police one step closer to stopping a repeat offender in your area for good.
#3: Look for Things Outside The Norm
This tip ties in heavily with the first one. The best defense against a stalker is being able to spot irregularities in your daily routine. It may be…
- a car in the neighborhood that’s never been on your street and isn’t parked directly in front of a house.
- a person a few yards away making all the same turns as you.
- a van making laps around the area.
A typical technique of someone following another person is to pass their target from time to time while in transit. This makes them seem less menacing and more like a normal passerby. Keep an eye out for this. Just because a person let’s you see them, does not mean they aren’t following you.
#4: Do Not Let the Stalker Know You’ve Seen Them Too Early
Giving off obvious signals that you spotted the person following you will cause them to back off before they are caught. Don’t make eye contact and don’t continually look their direction.
The goal is to solve the problem for good. If you spook them, they may come back later with a different plan of attack. Catch them in the act. This will make it much easier to prove to police officers that you are being stalked and the criminal will be one step closer to being behind bars.
#5: Take Note of What They Are Wearing
It is easy to change an outfit while you’re following someone. A stalker can quickly add a hat or take off a jacket to be harder to spot. Shoes are a different story. Switching footwear will take time and make it hard to track someone. So, if you suspect someone is shifting clothing to be more difficult to spot, look and see if their shoes remain the same while their appearance slightly changes.
#6: Move Slowly
This is a very simple, effective way to draw a stalker out. If you drive the speed limit in the slow lane they will be forced to hang back and be easier to spot as other cars pass them by. The technique is even more effective on foot. Take out your phone or a notepad and stop walking. The follower will be forced to stop also and figure out some way to look normal and inconspicuous.
It has been said moving quickly is the best action, but if a tracker is skilled this won’t cause them any problem and will actually help them be harder spot because they can choose their rate of speed. Remember, all they have to do is keep you in sight.
#7: Go to a Crowded Area
Going to a crowded area will do two things for you. Firstly, it will give you some cover from the tracker. Secondly, it will give you the chance to get a good look at him without being obvious.
As stated above, making continual eye contact or showing signs you know you are being followed is not the best choice of action. It will spook the stalker and make it harder to catch them.
In a crowd, though, you will be difficult to spot. You can turn the tables on the person following you by using the amount of people as a cover. He won’t know you are looking at him if he can’t spot you. Good places are malls, food markets, popular parks, train stations, or city squares.
#8: Never Panic
Keep your movements calm. Rushing to get away from the stalker can simply make you look erratic. In the worst-case scenario, you may get in a car crash while attempting to suddenly flee from someone.
Remember, a person discreetly following you is after information such as where you live or whom you meet with. They aren’t trying to physically harm anyone, at least while stalking. Stay patient, find a crowd, observe them, and either call the police or evade them when you have a chance. Don’t let fear control your actions.
#9: At Night, Head Toward Well Lit Areas
A person has a variety of reasons to follow you at night and almost none of them are virtuous. Night stalkers could be anything from discreet fact-finding followers to psychopaths. The safest thing to do at night is head for light. Stay within view of other people in the area and call the police. Never enter an alley or wooded area. If things become unsafe very quickly, yelling in a public place is even recommended. Your fellow citizens won’t stand by and let a crime occur in their neighborhood if they can team together quickly. Stay visible. Stay safe.
If things start to get violent, here’s an extra tip. Let’s say an individual pulls a weapon on you and wants to get you into their car or some other private space. Don’t do it. This is a 100% chance of harm. Run to a lighted area even if they have gun. If you stay put you have no chance of a good outcome and shooting a moving target is a difficult thing to do.
Of course, early identification of a possible assailant is the best way to prevent this from happening. Don’t be afraid to turn around and extremely loudly confront the stalker if you are in a public space. Male preppers, make sure your wives and girlfriends have this information and, if you can, convince them to take self-defense courses.
#10: Slightly Alter Your Behavior
To make absolutely sure someone is following you, make a slight change to your path your actions and keep an eye on them. This doesn’t mean suddenly jerk your car into the next lane. Remember, you must stay calm. However, it is a good idea to take an exit and then return back to the freeway or make a gentle U-turn one direction and then U-turn back the way you came.
People get lost while driving all the time. The stalker won’t know for sure that he is being pulled out of the weeds. Once you know for sure you are being followed either call the police with a description of the person or car or attempt a simple evasion.
A good evasion technique if you happen to be on foot and are followed by a car is to simply turn around. It will take the vehicle much longer to navigate through the city streets then it will for you to reverse direction on the sidewalk. Not only will this make his tail obvious, but it will give you chance to escape.
#11: Don’t Return Home
Never, under any circumstances, let a stalker see where you live. If necessary, go to a restaurant to kill time. The individual is likely gathering data to use at a later date for any number of crimes. Draw them out on your own and call the police from either a cell phone or a public telephone. Giving them the route to your house is the next worst thing to giving them the house key.
If, though, you realize a follower has already obtained this information and is routinely around your house call the police. Another defense mechanism would be to figure out multiple ways to your homestead from locations you regularly visit. This would give you the ability to confuse the stalker by taking multiple paths and not going the traditional way they expect.
#12: Don’t Make Assumptions on What a Stalker Will Look Like
A criminal will often make it a point to look like a normal citizen. Don’t assume the person following you will look shady. It could be anyone from a fashionable female to a quiet old man. Simply watch your surroundings.
Ignoring or dismissing potential criminals based on stereotypes, is the same thing as staring at your smart phone or listening to music too loud in your headphones. It stops useful information about the world directly around you from being processed and understood.
There are a variety of reasons why someone would follow another person. They may be looking for the right time to commit a violent crime. They may be gathering information to do an illegal action later. In a survival scenario, they might simply be starving and desperate. With these tips, any stalker other than an agency professional will be stopped. It is their assumption you are an amateur just going through your day. Now, you can turn the tables, and use their assumption against them.