General Question

LeonMeiberg's avatar

What would you do if you were threatened online?

Asked by LeonMeiberg (16points) 1 week ago

Someone just sent me an email telling me to give up my username on a social networking site. They said if I don’t do so, my friends will be ‘messed with online’. Three of my best friends’ names and addresses were included, as well as some old passwords of mine.

I’m concerned that giving in to the demand will make me an obvious target for more threats.

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29 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

First I’d contact my friends and give them a heads up. And by “addresses,” do you mean physical addresses, email addresses, or what?
I would perhaps call the police, depending on if my gut was telling me it was serious. Or, just ignore them.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Contact the admin of that website.
Sounds like someone wants to use your usernames etc in place of you?
( to create a fake acct).

NomoreY_A's avatar

I fight fire with fire. I’d tell him to get some nuts, and stop hiding behind a keyboard. Give him my address and tell him to come visit me. And I’ll give him a surprise between his eyes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You are not a female, either. If you were that would be the last thing you would do.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Sorry didn’t know the OP was female. Name threw me off.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The OP may not be female! But it’s really hard to answer without knowing. It just threw me @NomoreY_A. I can’t begin to imagine inviting a stalker to my house even if it was just to kill him.

ragingloli's avatar

Such internet tough guy crap can only be responded to with the “Gorilla Warfare” Copypasta:
“What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch? I’ll have you know I graduated top of my class in the Navy Seals, and I’ve been involved in numerous secret raids on Al-Quaeda, and I have over 300 confirmed kills. I am trained in gorilla warfare and I’m the top sniper in the entire US armed forces. You are nothing to me but just another target. I will wipe you the fuck out with precision the likes of which has never been seen before on this Earth, mark my fucking words. You think you can get away with saying that shit to me over the Internet? Think again, fucker. As we speak I am contacting my secret network of spies across the USA and your IP is being traced right now so you better prepare for the storm, maggot. The storm that wipes out the pathetic little thing you call your life. You’re fucking dead, kid. I can be anywhere, anytime, and I can kill you in over seven hundred ways, and that’s just with my bare hands. Not only am I extensively trained in unarmed combat, but I have access to the entire arsenal of the United States Marine Corps and I will use it to its full extent to wipe your miserable ass off the face of the continent, you little shit. If only you could have known what unholy retribution your little “clever” comment was about to bring down upon you, maybe you would have held your fucking tongue. But you couldn’t, you didn’t, and now you’re paying the price, you goddamn idiot. I will shit fury all over you and you will drown in it. You’re fucking dead, kiddo.”

Zaku's avatar

I’d consider what actual information is exposed by the accounts (mine & others’, as well as the threatening person’s account) they’re talking about.

Then I’d probably contact the site admins, friends who he also threatened to act against, and possibly the police (well, I’d try to research which police might actually care and do something).

LadyMarissa's avatar

I think that the first thing I’d do is warn my friends of the threat so they can be a little more AWARE!!! Then I’d change my password to something much more secure & harder for them to guess. Then I’d contact the admin of the site because they might be able to help you learn who is involved & you might possibly be able to have them prosecuted.

You might also want to put your computer in the shop to have it checked for malware & viruses. Personally, I don’t understand how people get into your computer to gather this information; but, I think I would work to figure it out so I could STOP them!!! It might also be in your WiFi security & you might want to look into that.

I don’t believe in being held hostage by fear; however, I’d be busting butt to figure out how they came up with your personal info & how to STOP it!!!

NomoreY_A's avatar

Lol @ ragingloli. Marine Recon work? Like you said he’s a little maggot anyway. Threats behind a computer don’t worry me. I’m no gun nut, but I could still arrange for him to meet Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson. And I don’t take kindly to having my friends threatened either.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@ragingloli Although I find your answer to be funny as shit, I don’t find it an effective reaction to what could easily be a severe problem!!! I had an online friend at another site that received a similar email naming all 3 of her children along with their ages in order of oldest to youngest. She assumed that she had given that info out in some of her discussion without meaning to; so she called their bluff. Next message she received gave her the physical address where she lived & told her exactly what her children were wearing at that moment. Much like a lioness with her cubs, she was very protective of her kids. She immediately closed her account so I don’t know how it played out but I can pretty much guarantee that her children were safe in the end.

@NomoreY_A I love the thought of your idea but MUST agree with @Dutchess_III that being a female, I surely wouldn’t invite an unknown stalker to my front door & would advise you to follow our lead!!! I’ve had a real life stalker & I knew who he was but it took me over 2 years to get him to lose interest in me & I assume he found someone else to stalk. It’s very unnerving to say the least & I found the law to give very little help because I couldn’t tell them exactly when he’d show up so they could catch him redhanded & I didn’t have the finances for the latest security cameras. I seriously considered buying a gun to help me feel safer. While choosing the best gun for me I told the person who would be training me that I really didn’t want to kill anyone & only wanted the capability of shooting them in the kneecap in order to slow them down until the cops could show up. He assured me that I’d be going to jail for attempted murder because the law states that for me to be in fear of my life that I have to kill them straight on & aiming for a kneecap means that I was NOT in fear of my life!!! So, now I don’t own a gun & I have managed to bore my stalker out of interest!!! I know in my heart that I couldn’t live with myself IF I killed anyone; so I chose what felt like an eternity although only 2 years!!!

LadyMarissa's avatar

@ragingloli Somewhere in all that you might want to add…
“I have a special set of skills & if you touch my friends I will find you because there is NO place where you can hide.”

NomoreY_A's avatar

Agreed about the female part, as stated I assumed the OP was a man. Any way I have only ever been stalked by women, before the internet days. Two girls I’d had a history with before I met my wife who kept calling our residence.. Finally got it dealt with but of course more finesse is necessary dealing with females. Long story and water under the dam.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Well @Dutchess_III & myself are females & I don’t have a clue what sex the OP is. My stalker bought a car from me & then started showing up out of nowhere to volunteer to do much needed work around my house for free. I thought he was a nice guy only to learn how WRONG I was.

He became pushier & pushier to the point I began to fear for my life. I spoke with a local Deputy to get advice on what to do. He said just put up No Trespassing signs around my property (on all 4 sides) & tell him they are meant for him & then call the County Sheriff’s office IF he crossed the Trespassing signs. I did as told & he challenged my authority to keep him out of my yard. He asked what I was going to do when I caught him in my yard & I responded “call the cops”. He laughed & assured me that he’d be so sneaky that he could convince then that I was crazy.

He stopped showing up during the day & began to jump my fence at night. I had put locks on my gates so he had to jump in order to get in. He had made friends with my dogs so they didn’t even bark at him when he came in the yard. I found spent shotgun shells in my driveway, empty cigarette packs (his brand) laying on my lawn, he’d tap on the window & run when I tried to look out. Neighbors started telling me that he’d sit in front of my house for 15–30 minutes at a time at 3:00 in the morning just staring at my front door. One neighbor said he was driving by 4 to 5 times a day looking to see if I was at home. The antenna on my car was snapped off & my side window busted with nothing taken from the car. My tires went flat every 2–3 days with nothing wrong with them. It bothered him that I kept my lawn mower outside because there wasn’t enough room in the garage. He’d remove the cover & open the hood just to let me know he had been in my yard. He even had his wife call me to tell me that I was going to burn in Hell for not being nicer to her husband. The sheriff’s office said there was nothing they could do until he actually physically harmed me & suggested that I get a restraining order. Well, RO’s aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on & I feared that he would interpret it as my not obeying him so I forgot that idea!!! Instead, I was talking to a semi-mutual friend one day & told them that I had purchased a gun & had been taking proficirency classes & my instructor said I had become deadly with my aim. Don’t know IF he ever got the message, but not long after that the visits became less frequent until they finally just stopped!!! Still, that was the longest, most miserable 2 years of my life!!!

Although him fearing getting shot was what seemed to deter him, I still would NOT invite a complete stranger to my door thinking they might die in the process. In my case, I had given his name, address, & phone number including his car tag number to many friends with instructions IF I was if I was murdered in my home that they give that info to the authorities. I was at the place it was worth dying to think he was going to rot in jail!!!

rebbel's avatar

@LadyMarissa Holy shit….
What an asshole.
I can only barely imagine how hellish that must’ve been.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@LadyMarissa I think @NomoreY_A and @ragingloli are making the point that the guy is possibily just playing “internet tough guy” to scare the OP while he himself is just hiding behind the keyboard like a sissy. They are telling the OP that the guy may not be as intimidating as she thinks.

The OP can use the real-life version of these advice: firmly tell the guy to stop harassing her or she will contact the site’s admin and the police. If he doesn’t back down then she can go on to do it. He’s clearly engaging in a criminal act and when the law reaches him he will have no way to defend his action.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@rebbel & @Mimishu1995 Thank you both for taking the time to read what I had to say.

reb..it wasn’t much fun…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!!!

Mimi, I understood what they were saying but after my experience, I don’t believe in minimizing any threatening experience. Maybe threatening them back is the right way to go; but I’d feel like I had failed if I didn’t at least point out that there are those who get turned on from being threatened. @LeonMeiberg‘s stalker seems to have some very personal information & Leon has NO clue who the person is. Threatening them could possibly create a situation where they could walk up to the front door, ring the doorbell, & then shoot whoever opened the door. I wouldn’t ever want to feel that I didn’t give anyone the other side so they can decide for themselves what s BEST for them!!!

Admittedly, my stalker has left me a tad bit paranoid!!!

Mimishu1995's avatar

The thing here is we don’t know what exactly that jerk showed her in the email. A password no longer used is a different story from a password still in use. I also find this a bit strange: so let’s say the guy is some sort of tech monster, he did so much stalking that he knows personal information of not only her but also her friends. He is also capable of getting her old passwords. He even knows that she participates in a social site. So why doesn’t he know what her username is if he knows she is on that site? He could very much find her account and hack into it too, given that he is capable of getting her passwords.

I’m not dismissing your experience or downplaying the potential danger. I’m just offering another perspective. Two scenarios may be possible here: either the information is too easy to be obtained and not significant, like email addresses or passwords no longer used, or the OP is so careless about her online security that she publishes sensitive information online, in a way that is too easy for the jerk to access.

In the former case it may not be as serious as the OP thinks. The guy only has basic information and is playing tough guy and she can ignore him or take actions if he gets too annoying. In the latter case it’s much more serious. She has to do what you said, Marissa, and be on guard. And learn to be careful with what she shares online too. I have a feeling the OP is young. She can use this as a learning experience of how to behave on the internet too.

kritiper's avatar

I would ignore it.

MrGrimm888's avatar

If someone had some of my personal information, I would contact law enforcement immediately.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Some people are careless with their info online. I actually had a woman send me her home ph. # in a pm in a chatroom once and wanting me to call her (unsolicited I assure you). I informed the mods what had happened and asked them to persuade her to use common sense online. I’m harmless but the next time she might not be so lucky. Lot of weird ass guys there.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@NomoreY_A My point exactly!!! We feel like we know the people we connect with online; but the truth is, they are still strangers & a good percentage are sicko strangers!!!

NomoreY_A's avatar

Bingo. And in that case I wasn’t trying to get her in trouble or be a jerk, I just didn’t feel that was a safe thing for her to do. It may have been a PM to me, but there are hackers out there who thrive on shit like that.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

I have experienced something like what @LadyMarissa described. Fortunately it was in a college class and he had no idea where I lived. . He was much, much bigger than me and far more aggressive. It was nauseating. It was terrifying.

mrainer's avatar

It depends on the nature of the threat. If it’s a silly threat from a loud-barking, annoying troll, I would ignore him or her. More specifically, I’d block that user.

If the threat is grave, I’d file a complaint.

lucybrighton's avatar

Definitely file a complaint. The threat sounds menacing to me. You should not take it lightly. And give a heads up to your friends that they might encounter something nasty online.

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