We’re all aware of the terrifying stories on TV of the obsessive stalker making their neighbor’s life a misery. But have you ever worried that the same thing might happen to you? It is a sad reality that neighborhood harassment and stalking is an all too common phenomenon in modern-day America. It could start with a difference of opinion over something like politics or sports, or even a more localized dispute over a boundary between properties or a tree overhanging someone else’s property. These petty issues can escalate all too quickly, and before you know it they have completely taken over your life.
Equally, your neighbor could have a more sinister secret. Maybe he has a criminal past or a dangerous obsession with you. Even those neighbors who are the friendliest on the doorstep could have skeletons in their closets. So, how can you learn enough about the people living in your neighborhood to keep you and your family safe? And if you are being stalked or harassed by a neighbor, how can you convince everyone else of the truth.
The answer is surprisingly simple: by using a background check, you can find out everything you need to know about your neighbor. Armed with this evidence, you can approach authorities with confidence they’ll take your case seriously. In this article, we’ll show you how to spot a known stalker using a background check, and what to do with this information.
Am I Really Being Stalked or Am I Just Paranoid?
If you are worried that you are being harassed or stalked by a neighbor, we’d like to begin by stressing this point: it is not your fault. So, don’t try and play down your concerns; treat them seriously and take whatever steps you feel are necessary to deal with them.
Stalking is a big problem in the USA and it can affect anyone, including you. Statistics show that around 6.6 million Americans are stalked every year. Around three-quarters of these are females, but almost 25% are male too, so this is not an issue exclusive to one gender.
Most cases of stalking involve someone that you know. While it is more likely to be carried out by an ex-partner, a significant percentage are also stalked by someone else they know in their life, with neighbors featuring high up on the list. It is also a problem which affects all echelons of society, with victims and perpetrators coming from all racial and class backgrounds.
How to Tell if Your Neighbor Is Stalking You
Stalking can be a terrifying experience, even if the perpetrator is essentially harmless. There are plenty of lonely people out there who fantasize about the person who lives down the street in order to fill the gap in their lives. Many will never act on their fantasy or pose any real threat to you.
But then again, some just might. It is impossible to know how dangerous a person could be just by looking at them. So if you do suspect someone is stalking you, it is better to find out more about them first. But how can you tell if someone is actually stalking you and you are not just imagining it or getting a bit paranoid?
First of all, think about your direct encounters with the person you suspect. It is normal to see neighbors when you are out and about in your community, but do you find yourself bumping into them in more unusual places? Perhaps you suddenly keep seeing them at the supermarket or when you are out socializing? Have they appeared around your work or when you are visiting family and friends quite a distance from your house? The odd encounter could be coincidence, but the more it happens, the more reason there is to be suspicious.
Has your neighbor started to engage with you online? Perhaps they have tried to befriend you on Facebook or are following you on Twitter or Instagram? Have they started liking your pictures or commenting on your status updates? Or maybe, they’ve even started sending you messages on services like WhatsApp, Hangouts, or iMessage. If this online interaction appears excessive relative to how much you engage with them in the real world, it could be that they are stalking you online.
Another way you can begin to notice that someone might be stalking you is how they behave towards you. Because a stalker will often interpret your actions in the context of their own fantasy-version of you, they are likely to get angry easily if you don’t behave towards them how they want you to. This anger can manifest itself as aggression or even making threats towards you or your family, friends, property, pets, or possessions. They could also be overly friendly and intimate when you meet. Excessive and unwelcome physical content is not uncommon as well as disregard for personal space and normal social boundaries. Maybe they might also begin to send you unsolicited presents, letters, or notes. All of these behaviors can indicate that someone has an unhealthy interest in you.
How to deal with a stalker?
Trying to deal with your stalker can be a daunting prospect. Many victims worry that they will not be believed if they tell family, friends, or the authorities. Others still may also fear the repercussions from the stalker if they find out you have told others. But it is important not to suffer in silence. What’s more, the longer a case of stalking and harassment continues, the more it can escalate and the more dangerous it can become. So, it is important to take sensible steps to try and deal with the situation. Here is what you can do:
Send Your Stalker a Clear Message
It is important to be clear with the person you feel is stalking you that their behavior is not welcome and that you want them to leave you alone. So, if you do have direct contact with your stalker, you should send them a clear message to this effect. If you do this, make sure your message is simple and concise. Under no circumstances should you engage in a debate with them over this issue. Just say what you want to say, then leave.
If you do choose to confront them in this way, we strongly suggest that you don’t do so alone. Always have someone with you for emotional support but also to act as a witness. Trying to keep an audio or visual record of the encounter is also a good idea if possible.
Document All Interactions
Be sure to keep a clear record of all interactions with your stalker, no matter how innocuous they may seem. Keep any letters, messages, notes, or other correspondence they may send you. Document any chance encounters with the person, keeping a clear record of places, times, and what happened between you. If you can get photographic evidence too, then so much the better. Convincing law enforcement that someone is stalking you can seem difficult, but the more evidence you have, the more likely they are to press charges.
Tell other People
Don’t keep your concerns to yourself. Anyone who feels they are being stalked or harassed should communicate their concerns to others. Tell family, friends, and other neighbors what is happening to you. Even if they don’t seem to believe you, they will still be aware of your concerns and keep an eye out on your behalf. Tell your employer too, as they might be willing to increase security at your work.
If you have children, it is important to tell anyone associated with them, particularly the staff at the school or kindergarten they attend. You should also tell the police. Even if they cannot do anything to begin with, your complaint will be on record and that could help you in getting assistance from them in the future.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself Online
We often make a great deal of information about ourselves available online. If you are concerned about a neighbor stalking you, it is important to limit the information we are putting up to stop fueling their obsession. Make your accounts private, limit public postings and be sure that your stalker is not able to follow your account. Certainly, avoid posting content which might tell your stalker where you are going to be and what you are going to be doing.
It is also sensible to change all of your online passwords. In fact, try to get in the habit of changing them on a regular basis in case the person has managed to hack into your account.
Find out about the Person Stalking You
If you are worried about being stalked, it is highly advisable to find out as much as you can about the person you suspect. It is possible that your stalker could have a hidden past that makes them a real threat to you. If this is the case, that information is usually publicly available, and it is recommended that you seek this out to know what you are dealing with. It might also help to encourage the police to take action against them if necessary.
The best way to find out about someone is to run a background check on them. A background check will search all available public records to provide you with a clear portrait of the person you are dealing with. The data they will search includes criminal records and sex offender registers, so if they do have a dark secret and could pose a genuine physical threat, a background check should be able to tell you.
What Is the Best Background Checking Site to Investigate Stalkers?
The best way to uncover a serial stalker or someone’s criminal background is to use an online background checking service. These sites offer a thorough and affordable service, and can usually return the core information that you need in just a few minutes.
There are quite a few different background checking sites available, so which one should you use? There are a few main criteria you can use to help identify the best all-round background checking site. They are:
- Detailed Research – You want to be sure the site you use has searched the widest range of sources to give you as detailed a profile of your stalker as possible. Different sites will have different sources, so you want to choose a site which offers the most detailed research service possible.
- Fast Results – If you are concerned about a stalker, you want to know what you are dealing with quickly. Therefore, getting fast results from your background check is a must. Response times can vary between different sites, but the best services will yield basic results in a few minutes, and a full character profile in no more than 4 or 5 working days.
- Accurate and Comprehensible Reports – Accuracy is vital, as you don’t want your check to come back with incorrect information. The best sites offer an impressively high degree of accuracy, and will also give you the information about your subject in a final report which is clear and easy to follow.
- Search Customization – You may not know much about your stalker, but that shouldn’t stop a competent background checking service from telling you everything you need to know. The best sites can provide detailed results based on even the most minimal amount of information you can provide to them.
- Usable Dashboard – You are likely to manage your searches using the site’s online dashboard, and will want the best and most user-friendly experience possible. Dashboard designs can differ, but ease of use and clarity should be a priority.
- Good Customer Support – Clarity is key, so if there is anything in your results or the information uncovered which you are not clear about, you need a reliable customer support service you can turn to.
Using these criteria, we have identified three background checking sites which offer the best chance to uncover everything you need to know about a possible neighborhood stalker. No site will promise a 100% guarantee, but all of these sites have a great track record of delivering accurate and detailed information, along with the positive customer feedback to back their claims up.
Truthfinder is an exceptional service for digging up criminal backgrounds on neighborhood stalkers. At the basic level of service, Truthfinder will comb through millions of different data points, including criminal and court records, sex offender registers, driving records, personal information, and even information about known relatives. The premium service goes even further into a subject’s education history, voter registration records, weapons and other licenses held, and more. To top it all off, there is even a deep web research option which parses data from more online sources and social media profiles than any other site.
Despite the complexity of their research, final reports are simple to read and understand. Your search data and furthermore be easily accessed with Truthfinder’s excellent online dashboard or Android app (iOS users can rest easier knowing that Safari browser works well with the Truthfinder dashboard). Customer support is available 24/7 on a toll-free number, and comes highly rated by users.
Another great background checking option is Instant CheckMate. Their service is available in two payment tiers, with data such as criminal records, sex offender registers, marriage and divorce records, details of relatives, address history, and any public social media profiles all available at the basic rate. For a little more, you can access their premium level reports which will include detailed court records, financial history, driving licenses, weapons licenses, and so on.
CheckMate only offers an Android app at the moment. But their online dashboard is excellent, and in testing worked fine on iOS devices through their Safari web browser. The final reports provided by Checkmate are also easy to follow despite being packed with information. Customer support is open around the clock, and delivers a really friendly and helpful service. When you’re worried about a neighborhood stalker, CheckMate is a reliable partner in uncovering the details you need to stay safe.
Intelius is great background checking service we have no hesitation in recommending to people dealing with potential stalkers. Their research service will comb through a massive range of informational sources, which include all available criminal data, full contact details, address history, sex offender status, financial history, property records, educational history and much more. Results are uniformly impressive even off the back of scant starting information.
Intelius has an online dashboard which is sleek and user-friendly, while their highly detailed final reports couldn’t be easier to read. What’s more, there dedicated apps available for both Android and iOS devices, so you can access your search data on the go. Customer service is admittedly not as fully featured as some other background checking companies, but there is a unique troubleshooting guide available if something goes wrong with your search. With over 50 million successful searches completed, you can feel confident in uncovering the truth about your stalker.
If you suspect you might have a stalker in the neighborhood, it’s important not to let fear get the best of you. It’s crucial to take calculated steps to protect yourself, and in this article we have provided an outline you can use to stay safe. At the core of your strategy lies data; data to know who you’re dealing with, and data to back up your claim to authorities. With a reliable online background checking service, you can bring to light all the needed details to follow through on your game plan and finally achieve some peace of mind.
If you have suffered at the hands of a neighborhood stalker, how did you tackle the issue? What steps did you take to confront them or to protect yourself? Did you run a background check to find out more about them? If so, which site did you use and what useful information did it reveal? We always welcome comments and feedback from all our users, so why not share them with us using the comment box below.
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