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How to deal with online harassment
from a competitor?

 9:07 am on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Deary me...12+ years running an online business and never had to deal with anything like this...

Basically, a competitor has taken it upon himself to contact 2/3 service providers in my niche (we're all self employed and fairly well known in our sector), and harass us.

The harassment started due to him being turned down for work in favour of me, and other providers.

To begin with, it was all silly messages, criticizing people personally (all school playground stuff).

However, last night, he got a bit more personal - things like, 'you've started this, and now you've finished it', then weird emails, putting my Date of Birth in the subject line (no idea where he got this) and then asking, are you really only xxx years old?

I have done nothing to this person - before this week, although he's a competitor, I had never heard of him. He has upset a lot of other people and some of my clients are aware of him.

Usually, I would ignore people like him, however, the fact he took the time to research me personally and email me my DOB unnerved me slightly.

What should I do? I am considering contacting the Police for harassment but wasn't sure if this was maybe going too far?



 9:36 am on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

IMO a call to police would do no harm. Let them decide but ensure that you are keeping copies of all of his emails, etc.


 3:53 pm on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Assuming no threats have been made, I would probably try to ignore this. Don't fuel the ire by responding.

Perhaps a good time to research yourself, and see what's out there. A date of birth can come from many places; a genealogy tree, perhaps?

It's annoying, certainly, but it seems fairly harmless the way you describe it. Keep records and discuss this with the police if he kicks it up another notch.

He's mostly ruining his own business as word gets out.


 11:32 pm on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

In my unenlightened younger days, I would have confronted him in person.

Today, I'd at least file a police report, so that there's a paper trail of the harassment. Should he continue, he opens himself up to arrest and/or a lawsuit.


 11:36 pm on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

@DXL, believe me - that's crossed my mind - the man is a pure bully.

I'll be in touch with the Police tomorrow.

Thanks to BeeDeeDubbleU and Robzilla for your comments.

brotherhood of LAN

 11:42 pm on Aug 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Block their email too... better left unthought about.


 9:26 am on Aug 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is not the same thing but a few months ago I got one of those calls from someone from "Microsoft" who wanted to "fix my computer". I strung him along for a few minutes then told him to "go away" in no uncertain terms. for about a month after that he called me up at all hours uttering obscenities and threats about what he was going to do to my family. I had his number(s), which were from India so I called the police and they said that since it was from abroad they could do nothing about it. :(


 11:03 am on Aug 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

@BeeDeeDubbleU - that's terrible! These people are sick.

The person I'm referring to contacted estate agents throughout one of my competitor's area and asked them to list her house for sale. They got her address from her Whois records.

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