If you’ve recently had a bad breakup or have experienced one too many coincidental run-ins with your ex, you may be wondering if they’re stalking you. There are several warning signs you need to watch for, and some of them mean you even need to contact your local police department. If your gut is telling you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. Here are the top 8 signs of a serious stalker:
You Have Several Hang-up Calls
If you experience multiple phone calls from your ex or they hang up when you answer, they could be checking up on what you’re up to at the moment. They may even try to trick you into answering by blocking their number from showing up on your caller ID. The best policy is to never answer unless you know who it is and block your ex’s number from being able to call you in the future.
You’re Being Followed
Do you constantly notice a vehicle following your every move while you run errands? Feel like you’re being watched whenever you’re out and about? Lots of stalkers will follow their exes from a distance, just to be sure of what you’re doing without them there.
You Receive Unwanted Gifts
If you get unwanted gifts at home or work, unwanted letters or emails, you probably have a stalker ex. As a first offense, you can firmly ask them to stop sending things to you. If it continues, you can file a report with the local police station.
Your Property Is Being Damaged
Some stalker exes are bitter over the breakup and want to damage anything that you own. If your vehicle is being sabotaged with keyed paint or slashed tires, it’s probably your ex. Spray painting your home, breaking in or otherwise damaging your personal property are also signs the psycho is playing games with you for attention.
Your Phone or Computer Is Being Monitored
The best way to prevent being monitored online or while on the phone is to make sure and change all your passwords and install antivirus software and keep it up to date. If you shared a phone account with your ex, get a new one that only you have access to. You don’t want them to be able to see who you’re calling and texting. You can also change your number to avoid them trying to contact you directly.
You’re Being Tracked with Technology
Some stalker exes will track the object of their crazy love with a GPS device or hidden cameras. If you discover anything that seems remotely suspect in your car, home or office, call the police immediately. Your ex could be secretly watching your every move.
You See Them Everywhere
If it seems like you’re constantly running into your ex everywhere, or catching glimpses of them in the places you frequent, they’re likely stalking you. Once or twice may be a coincidence, but multiple times over a short amount of time should be a red flag.
Your Family Has Been Contacted
Some stalkers will appeal to your family and friends, especially if they had a good relationship with them while you were together. Your ex may ask for new contact information, where they can find you, or try to get details about how you’re doing in general and who you’re seeing now. Your best bet is to tell everyone to avoid your ex and make sure they don’t give them any information about you.
If you strongly suspect your ex is stalking you, the first step is to contact the police and file for a restraining order against them. Keep all evidence you have of the stalking, in case an investigation is opened later. Never stroke your ex’s ego by responding to any of their attempts to contact or interact with you. Return mailed items to sender without opening them, and change your routine so they have a harder time following your every move.
Finally, always trust your instincts. If you feel like you are in immediate danger, call 911 and always take a sign of stalking seriously. Some stalkers become violent when they don’t get their way, and will threaten to hurt you or themselves. Here’s to hoping you don’t have a stalker on your hands….