How To Know If Someone Is Following You

Someone Is Following You

Here’s how to find out if someone is following you while you’re out walking, jogging, or anywhere out in public.

Have you ever had the feeling that someone is following you? Did your senses alert you in some way but you just couldn’t put your finger on it?

Try using these techniques to discover if someone really is following you and then I’ll tell you what to do about it afterwards.

1. Multiple sightings
2. Matching your speed
3. Staring at you


Spotting Someone 3 Times Or More

Regardless of where you are, you will see the others around you. Later you may recognize someone that you saw just a bit earlier. That’s a normal circumstance that occurs out of chance.

You may see that person yet again after that. You might call that coincidence. It happens.

However if you notice that same person a third time during your walk (or whatever you’re doing), chances are that it might be more than just coincidence. It may that someone is following you and time to change your situational awareness level from condition Yellow to condition Orange.
(Cooper Color Codes for Readiness).

Now there are exceptions to this which are logical. For example in a grocery store. But you get the idea…

Someone Is Matching Your Speed

Most people walk, jog, or move about at slightly different speeds. Even if you’re walking with others around you at nearly the same speed, if you speed up or slow down it should normally be ‘just you’ doing so at that moment.

If someone behind you is continually matching your pace, the alarm bells should ring. The situation will become more revealing if you change your pace several times and the follower continues to match. Chances are that someone is following you.

Excessive Eye Contact

You can’t help but make eye contact with others while out in public. There’s a normality about making eye contact with a stranger. But when eye contact is “too long” and especially when there are multiple occurrences, you know you’re being focused upon. Move to condition Orange.

Exception: Some of you gals may simply appear “hot”, and I’m sure you’re used to being stared at occasionally ;) You might look at it as a blessing rather than a curse…


What To Do If Someone Is Following You

Now that you suspect that someone is following you, what do you do about it?

To avoid becoming a potential victim, you must do something to deter the situation.

1. Immediately upon recognizing that you’re being followed, change your posture to one of confidence. Some people tend to slouch and appear weak. If that’s you, walk tall. Shoulders back and head up. Criminals look for weak prey, not strong prey.

2. Slow down, stop, and turn around or sideways. Appear as though you are looking for someone else. Then look right at the person who you suspect is following you. This sudden turn of events may likely thwart the follower who will move on.

3. You might turn and confront the follower using your choice of WTF verbiage. Again, most non-professional criminals are looking for an easy target. When you confront them, you are no longer an easy target.

Caution: Some people are just plain crazy and arguably shouldn’t be out in public. Often it’s easy to tell if someone fits in this category. Best not to confront them. Use your best judgement. Not everyone can present a firm, confident, or even threatening posture under the circumstances of confrontation.

Mace Brand Self Defense Pepper Spray

Some interesting tips can be found in the following book written by a former CIA officer:
Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life


  1. When driving I thought someone was following me, so I proceeded to make 4 right turns. He stopped following me after the third turn.

    I was also out in public with some friends, when this girl ran over to us and excitedly started talking to us like we knew each other. I quickly realized what she was doing and played along. She felt like someone guy was following her and she was scared. As soon as she joined us, the guy disappeared.

  2. Good article…
    For the ladies, keep purse/bag messenger style to avoid purse snatchers
    keep pepper spray on a key ring in hand, just in case…
    vary up the routine if you have a routine in how you walk or get to places
    to all be extra vigilant especially parking lots at night or in the dark…
    Park close as possible to store/bright lights, be aware of other vehicles and people
    Keep your head up and pay attention to your surroundings
    Last week as I was finding a parking spot, I saw several police cars and a suspected criminal being cuffed at a big box store…
    Be aware, prepared, and safe!
    God bless you all friends…

    1. Pepper spray on a key chain, not a good ideal on any day. Best thing for in the car is wasp spray in the tall can with the 15 foot range. Wife bathed a road rage clown down when he jumped out of his car and beat on her side window. As she drove away he was rolling around on the ground screaming. All the cops wanted to know was the brand of spray for poison control center.

      1. Southernman-love the wasp spray idea! We had a horrible move in experience with the previous owner of our house, (found out after the fact she has legitimate mental health issues and had recently gone off her meds). After the initial situation, which lasted several tense days with multiple confrontations/threats from her/multiple interventions from the sherriff’s dept., we haven’t heard from her in several months. But, it’s always in the back of our minds that she might show back up, (she claims we stole her house and threatened to ‘to make us regret what we did’-of course she cashed our check fast enough…. :/).
        While we have loaded guns in the house, I had gotten into the habit of carrying pepper spray when I was doing yard work. I love the idea of further reaching wasp spray cans strategically placed in the yard, (garage/porch etc). Will have to do this next spring when we start doing more outside again!

      2. First off wasp spray does NOT work as well as pepper spray. Anyone can u tube tests of this

        Second using wasp spray in this manner can open you up to being arrested for a federal crime. Try googling that .

        Using a pesticide in a manner other than according to labeled directions is a violation of federal law (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act).

        3. It is illegal (fine-able offense) for anyone to recommend a use other than the labeled use.

        4. Personal liability is likely to be significant for a person who deliberately sprays another person with a pesticide.

        1. I would think (or at least HOPE) a judge & jury would take the circumstances under consideration & lean towards dismissing any use of pesticide in self defense, same as any other object/compound.

        2. It’s also against the law/off label to shoot someone, but if it’s self defense anything is permissible including bats, fists, swords, knives, ash trays, and lamps.

  3. When I was in my 20’s, my girl friends had a nut job stock her and then he started stocking me. I kept noticing the same older camaro driving near me in many different places for about a month. I mentioned this to my girl friend and she told me who he was and the problems she was having with him. So I found where he lived and parked my pickup on the street in front of his home. He arrived at his house about 2am. in the morning and when he saw me he ran to his home with a shock look on his face. I smiled, left and he never followed either of us again. The best way to stop being prey is to be the predator.

    1. Or to act like one, in either case. I’ve tried to tell people this and they’re either confused or shocked. Mostly shocked.

    2. I have had some very interestin experiences in situations where somebody else mistook me for “prey” so to speak……hahaha……I do love to see that look when they realize “this ain’t goin just like I had it figured.”

      Please don’t forget, “most dogs” have a really tough bark but they would rather run than bite. But once in while you see one that will BITE. Be very careful if you choose to interact with dogs you don’t know. People are exactly the same…….

  4. A while back I left a restaruant without hubby, he was off to have an evening of poker with the guys. I started for home, at the first cross street a car dropped in behind me. I made the first left turn, so did he, I made the second right turn, so did he. Then I turned left onto one of the only two streets that leads to my subdivision, so did he. I turned right onto my street, so did he. I pulled over to the curb and stopped, so did he. I was not near my home and had not followed my usual practice of preopening the garage door because I had switched to condition yellow after the first turn, went to orange after the second turn and full blown red after the third. I looked for my cell and found I had left it at home. I pulled my CC and put the car in drive and headed for the police station. The car followed right along until I stopped outside the police station. Then he passed me very speedily and went away. I asked for a police officer to follow me home and be sure I was inside safely, which they were glad to do. In fact the officers Insisted they go inside and check out the place before I entered.

    Since then I am VERY sure I have my cell with me when I leave home and I am more cautious about who might be around when I open my garage door, especially after dark. I don’t know who the person could have been and I didn’t recognize the car but I am on high alert, lookout after that evening.

    1. Other than forgetting your cell phone, “like we all do from time to time” you did very good. You kept your cool and thought it out well. Good job :)

  5. Tradecraft. There are a lot of other ways to tell if someone is following you, and a lot of ways to get out of it. Spy agencies use the techniques. Google ‘tradecraft’ for more.

  6. Dont have your stupid cellphone stuck to the side of your head or in your hand with fingers and gaze glued to it,,,,
    I swear, cellphone zombies are the biggest issue today

    1. That and driving while talking, eating, reading a book, watching a DVD and painting toe nails. I spend a lot of time traveling and have seen it all and then some.

    2. Many years ago I was walking to a local bar. I always walked to bars to avoid a dui at all cost. This lady was walking ahead of me ,also going to the same bar’ She abruptly turned around and asked me if I was following her. She startled me and I told her kinda stammering no , I am just going to have a few drinks. I wound up walking her to the bar and we had a few drinks and got to talk for a while. Truth be told she scares the @*%! out of me at first.

  7. Had a small problem with a Chevy Camero black no plates or identifying tags and heavy tinted windows. Went into a subdivision road that was not built on and was waiting at the turnaround with a tac 500 12ga. over the hood. He didn’t want to dance and almost hit a tree getting out of the line of fire. This is call “Gang Stalking” and the gov. love’s to do this. Called the sheriff on his personal cell and let him know what happened. Told me he would put out a watch and asked if I had discharged my weapon. If there was no shooting and I didn’t want to make a formal complaint be careful going home was all he said. This is why I donate to the sheriff’s department and fire rescue every year. Can never have to many friends on the local level.

  8. If you suspect you are being followed and your heightened awareness supports your suspicions, then you should immediately take evasive actions to lose the tail to get completely off their radar and place yourself in a safer and more advantageous position.

    Unless you are armed with categorically overwhelming force, you should never confront someone who you think is following you. That might have worked in the 1950’s but it is totally inappropriate in the insane 21st century… especially for women. IMHO pepper spray, hunting knives and box cutters are not categorically overwhelming force. Your “NOTE:” is self evident and should be taken seriously by everyone. There are simply too many lunatics running loose today who look perfectly normal.

    I’ve met people who “looked” like my definition of a lunatic who turned out to be quite sane and cool. On the other hand, I have met a whole lot more people who look normal but turned out to completely insane and dangerous to be around.

    1. At one point I was being followed but I knew the area–took two blind turns fast and drove into a stranger’s driveway, cut the engine. Whoever it was drove right past, slow.

    2. CrabbeNebulae,
      Amen to the “normal people ” who are in actuality Bat S*** crazy!!

    3. Just flat love that “categorically overwhelming force” line. I will be stealing that for future use. This is the reason I told my wife I got to have that M-60 for Christmas.

      1. Southernmost
        Why not go for the MA Deuce? Now that’s “categorically overwhelming force”!

        Adapt and Overcome

        1. 11HE9
          Loved shooting the Ma Deuce but it’s a little heavy and I don’t own the armour tools to keep it in time. Now the M-60 with a belt wrapped around my arm and one draped over my neck just says ” let’s dance”.

        2. – Liked the ’60, loved the Ma Deuce (Remember laughing about having one on my bicycle, trying to figure out how to mount it!)
          For preference though, really prefer the ‘240!
          – Papa S.

  9. Carry 2 small bags of roofing nails in your vehicle. If you notice your being followed by another car, open a bag a toss it onto the roof of your vehicle and punch it! Inertia will let the bag slide off the back of your car and scatter the nails onto the road behind you. Roofing nails bend pretty easily so their tires will most likely pick up one or two. Bye-bye tail 😉! Stop after you notice their not with you anymore and report the vehicle (to your best ability) and the area you tossed the nails.

    1. When I’m on my motorcycle I carry some 00 buckshot removed from the shell. Someone tailgates me, I bounce 1 or 2 their way.

  10. Many years ago my tall. Blonde, beautiful sister was being followed in a department store. She went to several departments, but he would still be there. Finally, she went to the lingerie department. Another man approached her and said that he was the store detective and that he had been following the man who was following her. He gave her quite a “talking to” and that she has only to speak to a clerk and that they will contact him. The clerks are all trained for that problem.

    Stay frosty.

  11. I was on my honeymoon with my new, “country” husband. I had grown up in the city. It was summertime in a tourist area and my inner gut was literally screaming at me that someone was following us – a young man wearing a totally inappropriate long black trench coat. He appeared to have a buddy across the street who he was signaling to. I told my new hubby about what I felt, and he did not really think anything was going on. When I felt that my screaming gut instinct would explode out my stomach, I turned and yelled at the guy, “Can I help you with something?” The guy looked more than shocked and he ran into a nearby store. My hubby was also shocked, but I am certain I saved us from being mugged or worse.

    With the passage of time, I have thought long and hard about this interaction. If I were to do it over, I would grab my hubby and hustle into a store rather than confront the person. We were not armed and who knows, especially now, what weapons someone is carrying.

    A great way to see if someone is following you while you are walking is to look into store windows and use the reflection to see who is nearby and what they are doing. Pretend to window shop but use the windows for surveillance.

  12. I get followed all the time, women keep thinking I”m Tom Sellick.

    Seriously though, the last advice I’d give a woman is to confront someone. My wife carries at all times away from the home, and has no compunction as to defending herself, but she knows avoidance is the best plan of action if possible. If driving, going to a gas station. If exiting a store, going back into the store. If home alone when someone unexpected comes, retrieve the 20 gauge, and not answer the door.

    If all peaceful options are unavailable, as Mr T says, “I pity the fool.”

  13. I was coming home late from work at 04:00 and I noticed truck lights following me into the neighborhood. I drove slow and then sped up and the following truck did, too. I turned onto my street and went for a while and the truck followed me. I decided to stop and see if the would pass me. The truck stopped, too. This freak wasn’t going to follow me home. So I did an aggressive 180 and drove toward him, ready to do battle. Then I noticed that it was a garbage truck, doing its rounds……

    1. I used to work security at a concert venue in my area. I always had my head on a swivel watching women walk through the area. I wore a bright yellow shirt with big black letters on it and I would escort women back to the resteraunt or back to there vehicles. I am only 5 ft 11 or so but I weigh about 275 plus. The ladies always felt safe.

  14. I have not had anybody try to follow me home in years. The last one that tried to ended up being a process server: I was being subpoena’ed to testify in open court. He identified himself only after I pulled the hammer back on the revolver that was stuck in his left ear.

    This was fairly soon after ending my career in Law Enforcement so I was still pretty gamey and paranoid back then.

    Judging by the smell, he probably had to change his underpants when he got home. ( oops! sorry. ). Please send me a letter next time.

  15. Confront the person with “So today is the day you want to die?” ‘Can I Help You?’ really?! You don’t want to help them, you want to get rid of them. Confronting someone with weakness is a good way to get kidnapped or worse.

    1. Just an FYI — I had my hubby as back-up, and that was the only thing I could think of to say. The guy knew I had made him – I could have said, “Hi, Big Bird”, and the guy would have known.

    2. She didn’t want to “help them”, and that was understood by all involved. She confronted them with awareness, not weakness. Taking comments literally to rick-roll the thread… really?! -maybe YOU need some help?!

  16. To Anonymous:

    Back then I was less than 7 months after a justified shooting of a gang member that was killed in process of a drive-by shooting on my location. Local PD informed me that a bounty was out for me by that gang and to watch my back. I was recently separated from the department but still working in a different community not far away.
    That was a long time ago and I have mellowed since then. Needless to say, I was thinking different back in those days. Not the best solution but it worked at the time. Ultimate solution was relocation and education. This took place in Southern California long, long ago.

  17. The panic button on your key fob is a security option too. Getting near your car and suddenly you see some ne’er-do-wells oozing your way, just hit the red alarm button— (“oops… I guess I hit the wrong button accidentally… gosh… now I can’t find the button to stop it, and people are looking this way… silly me… what an annoying noise, eh?”)

    Also check to see that your car alarm really is set when you think it is: roll your window down, set your alarm, reach inside and open your car- alarm should go off. (Some cars you have to actually chirp the alarm to activate it, just locking it won’t arm it…)

  18. been followed too many times and harrassed. WHICH is why i limit going out unnecessarily and socially keeping to myself no matter what. IF you can defensively get away go that route. ive been compromised by both female and male … weirdos. if you are either sex but unaccompanied, alone AND disabled in some way as well as older or above middle age you may experience more trouble with either strangers or known people. one can be Followed in varying scenarios but you just have to be SMART and try to not go out into the world so naturally naively. know where the PDs are and local phone numbers but if you are being followed driving hide someplace and call 911. do NOT inflame other drivers but on a bad day in the wrong place and time….it happens. you can also PRAY. being in the cities now is getting worse…

  19. What if you’re somewhere in a grocery store and you feel like someone is following you what do you say or do? You probably shouldn’t yell at them…

  20. If I think that someone is following me, in a public area, I just turn around and pass them. If they keep following me I would walk up to an employee and report them.

    It could be store security.

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