Tips In Dealing With the Anonymous Cyberstalker

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes RS-#62825

We put ourselves out on the internet to market ourselves. We are blogging so that we can give a side of ourselves to the consumer and our peers so they are able to get to ‘know' the person behind the words. There will be many times that we cross paths with another that will leave a lasting impression regardless if they identify themselves or not.

I've been trying to figure out a diplomatic way to write about something that happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I think I have the frame of mind that is needed, so bear with me in telling my story.

Keep in mind that the problem is not the situation but the behavior of the individual behind it.

  • I received a comment on a post I'd written back in January of this year that was derogatory and mean spirited.  My post was meant to make a point that we all can spread our wings and fly and accomplish anything we want to.
  • I answer the comment as politely as I could and the anonymous commenter came back a couple other times and the comments started attacking me so I eventually blocked all anonymous comments from my blog.
  • I went back to my post and deleted all those comments and just left the ones from January.  
  • The anonymous commenter never came back to the post as a member but did say they were a real estate professional and ‘from' Hawaii.
  • I received a ‘private' call and without getting into too much detail...I  laughed it off and said ‘have a good night'!
  • I received a letter at my office a few days later with my Real Estate MLS info copied and pasted and printed onto a sheet of paper along with a few rude statements and calling me "Cheesehead". 
  • I received a call asking for Duane Chapman (Dog the Bounty Hunter) and politely said they had the wrong number.
  • And still the anonymity prevails through all.

I must be very interesting and important to go to those lengths to ‘harass' me.

Tips on handling the ANONYMOUS cyberstalker:

  • Once there is an anonymous comment that is clearly out to bash you as the individual writing the topic rather than the topic of the post...DELETE the comment and move on.
  • If it is a member of the ActiveRain Community (or whichever communty you're blogging on) then by all means contact the staff. They do not take too lightly with harassment of other members and will reprimand them or block them from the site.
  • If it is an anonymous commenter than you can still flag the comment as a ‘concern'. If it is a member they can track the IP address to check on the commenter to see if it is an AR Member.
  • Don't let the childish name calling and mean spirited comments personally. Wasted energy and nothing accomplished when someone is afraid to say these things face to face with you and hides behind the anonymous comments, phone calls and mail.
  • If it becomes  a clear stalking and threatening situation call the police and make a report. Sooner or later it all comes out in the wash because they don't remain anonymous forever when they clearly want to harass you.
  • Do not retaliate as these types of situations show that the person is unstable to begin with and may have some mental problems that are definitely not ours to fix.

If someone has that much time on their hands and to go to these lengths to harass someone they clearly are not the professional we all hope to work on the other side of.

 

Posted by

                                                       

 

Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.

 

 © 2007-2014 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.

     

 


 

 

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Rainmaker
531,100
Robert Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Sally - Sorry to hear about this on your end. I personally haven't received too too many of these types of comments tg but I'm sure they are out there stalking away. Great post! And very timely in this scary sometmes cyberworld we live in.

Jul 09, 2009 11:57 AM #64
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Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Sally - I'm sorry to hear that you had to endure this.  It amazes me that people have nothing better to do than to harass others.

Jul 09, 2009 12:48 PM #65
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Jim Crawford
RE/MAX Paramount Properties - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Realtor - Atlanta Real Estate

ActiveRain should have the ability to track the IP address of the anonymous poster. That is a good thing. I had to disable public comments on my site several times for prank posts.  They are very unsettling.

Jul 09, 2009 06:47 PM #66
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Jim: They do....it IS very unsettling...especially when we believe it's another agent ...or someone who used to be :)

Jason: And that just shows what kind of person they are :)

Hey Bob: Yeah...they're all over no matter if online or off.

Mark: I'm really not the intimidating type and it still is no reason to treat others that way.

YMS:  Some entertainment huh?

Jul 09, 2009 09:54 PM #67
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Lil Bro:  Kind of feel sorry that they didn't find a healthy sense of self so try and push their junk on others.

Kat: I'll do my best no matter what the situation. :)

JL:  No kidding. Be prepared huh?

Missy: Definitely indeed ....

George: What goes around comes around....it's just the way the universe works.

Jul 09, 2009 10:00 PM #68
Rainmaker
292,363
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

A great Post from a crappy experience....but then that's what you're good at...writing and inspiring :)

Jul 10, 2009 02:56 AM #69
Rainer
69,487
The Rains Team
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners - Hoschton, GA
A higher standard in real estate

Hey Sally, Sorry to hear that you've had to go through this situation! Your tips on how to handle cyber stalkers were great...it's a crazy world we live in and being real estate agents we have our photo and contact information plastered all over the web, which is a little scary to me.

Have a great day,

Anne Rains

Jul 10, 2009 11:48 AM #70
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Kathy: No kidding.....and yeah...I do think so too lol.

Anne: No matter what career we're in we are putting ourselves somewhere. Doesn't make it right for people to prey on others for their malcontent.

Jul 10, 2009 12:14 PM #71
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Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I guess these things are bound to happen from time to time.  You handled it very professionally and I'm glad you have addressed it here.  Hope you don't have to put up with such nonsense again.

Jul 11, 2009 12:22 PM #72
Rainmaker
147,182
Carol Pease
Pacesetter Properties - Cedar Park, TX
CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320

Hey Sally:

I'm sorry that someone has nothing better to do than to harrass you on the internet.  "Cheeseheads" are from Wisconsin and now having said that I hope I don't get stalked for saying that.  Just keep your chin up and let's hope they crawled back under their tiny little rock.  You handled this very well.

 

Carol

Jul 11, 2009 04:13 PM #73
Rainmaker
446,541
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Sally~ I am sorry that happened to you.  I have had a few horrible emails and comments, but I just ignored them and never responded.  They weren't worth the energy it would take.  Yes, they were upsetting, but I never let them know. 

Jul 13, 2009 11:00 PM #74
Rainmaker
623,209
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

I had someone send me a couple of threats for posting information about the SuperFerry.  I deleted all of their comments and e-mails and invited them to say it to me in person.  I haven't heard from them since.

Jul 15, 2009 01:07 AM #75
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Randy: Bout time you showed face....I've had a hard time explaining your whereabouts lol.

Vicky: Yeah...but it's the nature of that beast....the malcontent one :)

Carol: Yeah...well, I think it pertained to the name I took on when I married my wonderful husband from Pennsylvania. lol

Ann: I'm sure it'll be an ongoing thing here and out there :)

Jul 15, 2009 01:16 AM #76
Rainmaker
152,845
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC - Honolulu, HI
Real Estate Merchandiser

Aloha Sally,

I'm sorry to hear you had this experience; some people like to take their frustrations and personal issues out on easy targets, particularly those who offer a positive message. Mahalo for sharing.

Peace,

Jul 15, 2009 05:33 PM #77
Rainmaker
812,999
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Sally - This comes with celebrity status.  We're a small world, but even so, you are one of the stars in it.  I feel bad for the actors and actresses who have to deal with this 24/7.  It's no fun!  Thank you for sharing your advice, I'm sure it will happen to others. 

Jul 15, 2009 09:38 PM #78
Rainmaker
544,470
Holly Weatherwax
Momentum Realty - Reston, VA
Moving Your Dreams Forward...

All of the sudden, I got 3 strange comments on old blogs.  Oh well, the price of fame :)

Jul 17, 2009 04:32 PM #79
Rainmaker
592,629
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

I'm so sorry you've attracted one of these idiots. I have a friend on YouTube who has her own personal cyber-weirdo. I guess it makes them feel powerful, to hide in anonymity, and attempt to scare others. How cowardly is that!?

Jul 19, 2009 11:27 PM #80
Rainmaker
623,209
Randy Prothero
Island Style Realty Inc. - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

I saw some of your messages.  Hopefully he/she is harmless.  Either way a real nut job.

Jul 27, 2009 12:36 PM #81
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Randy: Yeah....I agree... you just may be right on your assumption.

Aug 07, 2009 11:57 AM #82
Rainer
216,630
Marcia Hawken
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. - Naples, FL
Naples Luxury Specialist

You did all the right things.  And more important, you did not let it get you down.  Good going!

Aug 12, 2009 05:08 AM #83
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