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Help! I'm being stalked by a "website groupie"

     
1:57 am on Jul 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Several years ago this guy started emailing me with minor "corrections and additions" for my 21-year-old site, particularly one area of it. I figured he didn't have anything better to do so I would humor him and make these corrections for many years until I eventually got tired of it and quit cooperating when he began emailing me so often about it.

A few weeks ago, he acquired my phone number from the public domain records -- actually I have the local bank's time & temperature service as my phone number on there, but he apparently looked up my real number from the street address on those records. He started calling me about these "corrections" many times, and I would always pick up and immediately put the receiver down when he started to leave a message on my answering machine.

Today, I go to the mailbox and there's a large manila envelope with about 200 pages of "website corrections" -- he printed out the entire section of my site and made corrections by hand, also using web pages he downloaded from Wikipedia to back up his "corrections."

I threw the entire thing in the garbage, but I'm afraid this guy is going to show up at my door one day upset that I haven't made his "corrections," even though according to the return address on the envelope he lives several states away (thank God).
2:09 am on July 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Maybe you should keep the package as evidence. It will have his fingerprints and possibly his unique printer's ID.

Never heard of a web site stalker before. You are special.
4:06 am on July 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Keep your local law enforcement number nearby!

Meanwhile, if more "product" is delivered, retain it and the container (envelope?) in which it came.

No one needs this kind of behavior directed at them.
10:42 am on July 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Check if (possible) he's on a static IP and redirect him somewhere special of your choice.

Odd behaviour, but a compliment to your site I suspect. If he contacts you again, tell him how due to life circumstances (ill health, family) that you're unable to keep track of things on there anymore but thanks for the passion / commitment.
1:06 pm on July 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to hear that, super70s, it does sound a rather unhealthy.

As you say, they live a long way away, however, i'd keep a record of the documents. I'd also try and identify them to see if they have some kind of record for this. They could be doing it to many others.
8:55 pm on July 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm sorry, I'll stop.
9:09 pm on July 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I would just continue to ignore him. It doesn't sound like he's done anything illegal, so there's nothing you can really do about it anyway.

You can try blocking his number on your phone. That will stop the calls, at least. My phone lets you block a whole range of numbers rather than doing them individually, even just the first few digits. Block the whole state!
9:49 pm on July 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The problem with psycho people is that they are unpredictable. Otherwise they would not be considered psycho by normal people.

If this guy has been tracking you for for a number of years and has gone to the trouble of printing out and making corrections to 200+ pages on a 21yo site (I'd like to know what is still relevant to this guy after 21 years), then that is more than a couple of "over the top" red flags. Ignoring this guy, which is what you've done in the past, will not shake him. Please save all the evidence you can in order to make a case against him when you need to call the police.
4:04 am on July 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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and has gone to the trouble of printing out and making corrections to 200+ pages on a 21yo site (I'd like to know what is still relevant to this guy after 21 years)


He must fancy himself some kind of amateur proofreader, the section of my site he's obsessed with is a 10-years' worth of calendar months of the 1970s decade with happenings on each day. Sometimes he would offer something useful, but as often as not it's something as trivial as "please change New York to New York City so there will be no confusion" (even when it was quite obvious it's about NYC).

Thanks everyone for the concern and advice, I will keep it in memory.
8:50 am on July 28, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Nut Jobs need to live, too. Just NIMBY! Wish you all the best. If you are in a carry state.... carry! (not meant to open commentary, though I suspect it will... given a choice between with or without when push comes to shove, but that's also another commentary not required).

Just watch your back and be careful!
5:30 pm on Aug 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You will not believe this -- today I get a letter from the local Better Business Bureau informing me this kook opened up a complaint against my website:

Consumer's Original Complaint: When I emailed (my name) about mistakes on his website -- factual, punctuation, spelling and omission, I was given a rude reply and was told my future mail would be considered spam.

Consumer's Desired Resolution: Other (requires explanation) Apologies and corrections.

The BBB must realize they're dealing with a lunatic because they mark it "case closed" in their processing, also in the cover letter it says: "This information is NOT being treated as a complaint; however, we wanted to inform you of this communication, as the information may be valuable to enhancing your firm's marketplace performance."

They also say if I choose to "I can send a letter addressing this complaint for our files."

Thought you guys would get a good laugh out of this.
6:15 pm on Aug 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Wow. Kooks aplenty. Not a paying customer, if this were a bot I'd give him a 403.Can you ban him from your site?
9:08 pm on Aug 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I should look into that really, he's gone from being a minor nuisance to harassment.
5:49 am on Aug 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Did the BBB communication provide any info re: the stalker? That is, an identity? After all, you'll have to have at least that much before any court can take action.
10:13 pm on Aug 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yep, they included his full street address in the letter.
10:20 pm on Aug 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Restraining order? I have flashbacks of Sheldon shenanigans.
5:12 pm on Aug 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Years ago at PubCon, someone gave a talk on things one could do to reduce spying by competitors. I don't remember the details, but if you knew someone's IP address(es), you could do things within .htaccess to block their access, redirect them to different places, etc.

Maybe you could redirect this guy to a blank page?
 

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