Private Investigations and Personal Security/Stalking

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Question
I have been being followed since 2006 after I complained to management
about being pushed out of a high-paying job due to sexual harrassment.  
There is more to this story that I can't go into, but a certain group of people
is mainly involved in the stalking.  The management claimed that due to an
on-the-job work injury I could no longer perform the essential tasks, even
though they had jobs I could do.  The stalking increased after I took the
matter to the Dept of Fair Employment and Housing and again after I sued
them in small claims.  (I forgave them in court, but they still kept bothering
me.)  My attorney for the workers comp case told me years ago that the
workers comp case was closed and they'd have no reason to stalk me.  I am
on social security disability.  I have had people photograph me out of context
repeatedly, follow me almost everywhere,-grocery, doctors, pharmacy, and
actually try to chase me away with a photographers camera all set to go, or
otherwise intimidate me from seeing my doctors.  I know that my phones
and internet were tapped because on 1 or 2 occasions I could hear
somebody in the background repeating where I said I would be going, and  
my wireless internet has turned itself on repeatedly even though it is
password-protected, and I wasn't using it,-I was on a cable connection!  
They seem to know everywhere I'm going based on the websites I go to ,
mapquest directions, etc.  Because of this and other reasons as well, I have
moved repeatedly yet they still seem to be texting my whereabouts to each
other.  Is this something social security does?  Most of these people are very
young,-like in their teens or twenties, or even under 18.  I was aware of
being followed to the social security office once, not long after this stalking
started, and I believe my previous employer organized people to try to
discredit my social security disability case.  Can you advise me?   I'd like to
know if text-messaging someone's whereabouts everywhere they go is legal,
and what I could do about it.  And what about the phone and internet-
tapping?  Whenever I called the FBI to complain about what was going on, my
cell phone would abruptly drop the call, and it almost never drops calls!

Answer
Lindsey, I'm sorry to hear the stress you are going through.  As far as I can tell, your former employer should have no reason to harass you or try to discredit your social security disability.  Once Social Security has determined that you are disabled, it is Social Security that pays you, not your old employer, so your old employer would have no reason to care whether you were disabled or not.

The people who you see following you sometimes are probably just random people minding their own business.  Even if someone texts about you or photographs you in a public place, that is not against the law, as far as I know.  The best way to be sure your computer is not compromised is to take it to a reliable repair person and have them check it for viruses, keystroke logging software, and anything else that doesn't belong there.

You are clearly under a lot of stress from this situation.  Many people want to contact a psychologist or other type of therapist who can help through this difficult time.  You can ask your doctor for a referral, or look online; the American Psychological Association has a referral service on their website to help people find therapists, http://helping.apa.org/find.html or try http://www.find-a-psychiatrist.com/ or the American Psychiatric Association website, http://www.psych.org/public_info/choose_a_psy.cfm  or http://www.therapistfinder.com

Good luck, and stay safe,  Lyn

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Lyn Bates

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Are you being stalked? I can help evaluate the amount of danger you are in, and can provide very specific suggestions for increasing your safety, and for managing your situation. As a founding member and the current Vice President of AWARE (a volunteer, nonprofit organization), I have helped thousands of women learn to protect themselves from crimes ranging from minor harassment to serious assault. I am currently writing a book on safety for stalking victims. I have lectured at annual training meetings of the American Society of Law Enforcement Training, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, the International Women Police Association, the American Society of Criminology, and the American Women`s Self-Defense Association. In 1997, the American Tactical Shooting Association gave me their annual Tactical Advocate Award for teaching and writing.

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