What to Do If You Feel Like You're Being Followed

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Playing What to Do If You Feel Like You're Being Followed
What to Do If You Feel Like You're Being Followed Aired June 07, 2018

Have you ever felt, as you’re walking home alone at night, that you might not be quite so alone -- like maybe, someone’s following you?

If so, you’re certainly not the only one: More than 75 percent of women have reported feeling like they’ve been followed -- and worse, that they didn’t know what to do about it. Yikes!

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Luckily, former CIA agent Jason Hanson has a high-level tactic from his spy days to get you home safely: Create a surveillance detection route, or an “SDR” for short.

Even better, he broke it down for us.

Turn It
The first thing you do? “Take a turn,” says Jason. “This forces anyone who might be following you to turn the same direction -- and provides you with an opportunity for you to spot someone who is on your tail.”

RELATED: 3 Simple Escape Tactics From a Former CIA Agent That Could Save Your Life

Create a Parallel Route
Still not sure? “Plan an SDR that parallels and crosses back and forth over that direct route,” says Jason.

To visualize, you’re moving forward in an S-like shape, back and forth over your direct route -- so you don’t lose it! -- while never exclusively on it. “If anyone’s following you on that long of a route,” Jason says, “that is a clue you’re being followed.”

Reverse
“Reversals are also another very helpful way to see if you’re being followed,” says Hanson.

To do this, you have to make a 180-degree turn, and one great way to do this is to take the stairs.

“This allows you to get a look at the person following you. That way you know exactly what they look like without looking suspicious,” says Hanson.

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Make a Stop

“Stop at a newsstand or go into a bank,” advises Hanson. “Making a stop while on a SDR can be a very powerful tool.”

Why? Because going into a coffee shop, a bank or a store allows you to see if anyone comes in after you -- or even if anyone slows down while they walk by, looking in the windows.

So what to do if you are being followed? “Stay in a public place,” advises Hanson. “Call a friend, call the police or get a security guard’s help. That way you’re not alone.”

Thank you, Agent Jason!

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