This blog series features real stories from OneRep customers. They highlight just how serious online privacy violations can be along with the consequences and fallout for individual victims and their families. This post tells the story of a phone stalking incident that could happen to any one of us.
Online stalking is a common and serious threat to many of us. The internet and smartphones have made it even easier to track and stalk people.
Stan L. from Hartford, CT was a victim of a phone stalker. The unexpected incident made him realize how important it is to remain private online. He got help from OneRep and has been a satisfied customer ever since. We asked Stan if we could share his story with our readers. He’s happy to help others avoid the dangers of phone stalking.
I’m a big fan of OneRep, and when they asked me to share my experience with stalking for their blog, I was more than happy to do so.
My story begins a few years ago when my wife and I received weird silent calls on both our cell phones for a few weeks. That winter was already stressful enough as I just lost my job and we were coping with a life-threatening illness in the family. And then one day it started: an unknown caller would call us, repeatedly, for an hour or so at a time. When we would pick up, they would say nothing. The calls would happen on random days of the week, and they always came from the same number. It was unsettling.
I googled the issue and discovered reverse phone lookup, a feature that can reverse a call from a number and show you the name of the caller. The very night I read about it I got another call. When I looked it up, I saw a name that seemed vaguely familiar. My old schoolmate who I lost touch with some 10 years ago had the same last name. I also recalled he had a little sister who was a bit detached but seemed to have a crush on me when we were in high school. I found her on Facebook and sent her a message to ask if she was involved in any way. I never got a response but the phone calls stopped that day.
I was puzzled by all of it. How could a random person like this girl get my phone number? How could she get my wife’s? My wife had never met my school mate and he didn’t even know I was married. I googled my name in an attempt to solve this mystery. There, in the top Google results for all the world to see was my full name and address. It was right there in the search link. I clicked on the link and my address (including unit number), cell phone number, full birth date, and family connections were all listed. I then clicked on my wife’s name and the whole thing repeated. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And this wasn’t the only site. There were plenty of others offering our “publicly available info.”
“How could a random person like this girl get my phone number? How could she get my wife’s?”
I hated the idea that anyone, especially a stalker, could get to my family. I started looking for ways to remove our information from the web. It turned out to be a long and tedious process. That’s when I found OneRep. They promised to take care of this automatically. And they did! To date, they’ve removed 236 records from 102 sites. More importantly, they monitor the web for the public records of both my wife and myself. OneRep has given us peace of mind at an affordable price. It has saved countless hours of monitoring and deleting! I can now breathe easily knowing that we are no longer traceable and that my immediate family is safe.
Protecting Your Data is Key to Enhancing Privacy
When your personal information is exposed on the internet, it makes it easy for stalkers to locate and follow you or your loved ones. We all need to put our online data in order and OneRep can help. OneRep’s family plan covers up to 6 people and removes unauthorized profiles from 116 information broker websites to minimize the chances of unwanted people finding, stalking, or harassing you and your relatives.