I Think I'm Being Followed! What Should I Do?
Being followed sounds like something that happens in spy movies or cop shows. But it does happen in real life. So pay attention to your surroundings. This may surprise you (or maybe not), but some people are totally unaware. You cannot protect yourself from possible harm if you don't have any idea what's going around you!
When you are "out and about," pay attention and be observant at all times.
When You are Walking
Anytime you're out in public, pay attention to what is going on around you. Do you keep seeing the same person? Maybe it's a coincidence. Or maybe he is following you and is looking for an opportunity to make his move.
Do you think you're being followed? Head for a store, restaurant or any other place where there are lights and people. Call 911. If you don't have a cell phone, ask an employee of the business to call for you.
If you're in a residential neighborhood, try to find a lighted house with an open front yard and not a lot of shrubs or trees blocking the view from the street. Call 911. If you don't have a cell phone, knock on the door and ask for help. Tell them you think you're being followed and ask them to call 911.
By the way, don't be surprised if the person who answers the door won't let you into their home. In fact, if they're smart, they won't. They don't know you. You are a stranger to them and they're simply trying to keep themselves safe in their home.
Related Post: "How to be Safe When You're out Walking"
Take out your keys, knife, pepper spray or anything else that you carry/can use as a weapon.
Show them that you are aware of them. Turn to look at the person. It sends a clear message that you will not be taken by surprise.
If they start coming toward you, tell them to keep away and tell them that the police are on their way.
Try to stay calm.
Let's say that you just made a big electronics purchase. You put the item/s in your car and head home. On your way home, you notice that a car seems to be following you. Maybe it's a coincidence. Maybe it isn't. Just maybe a thief saw what you purchased and decided to follow you home to steal it from you.
Or maybe there's a predator following you for reasons other than theft. Darker reasons.
Whatever the reason, if you think you're being followed, there are things you can do to protect yourself.
First of all: Do not drive home. You don't want them to know where you live.
If possible (depending where you are), make four right turns or four left turns (basically, you'll be driving in a circle). If the car stays with you, it's safe to assume you're being followed. Even if you loose them on the turns, if the same vehicle shows up behind you again, they may be following you.
Drive to a police station, fire station, or other well-lit and populated area. If you happen to see a police car nearby, honk your horn and flash your lights to get their attention. If you are in an unpopulated area, call the police and tell them what's going on. Ask them to meet you somewhere close-by.
Stick to well lighted roads whenever possible.
If you stop at a light or stop sign, make sure you give yourself enough room between you and the car ahead of you so you don't get trapped and can escape if necessary.
Remain calm. Sometimes, people will follow a person just because they enjoy scaring them. Stay focused and don't panic. That may be enough to cause the jerk in the car to become bored and take off.
Be aware and observant. Staying alert could save your life.
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