You’re getting ready for work one morning, when you notice that your creepy neighbor is outside, in their driveway, just staring at you. You’re not sure if it’s just a coincidence, but it’s starting to make you feel uncomfortable. You can’t help but feel that your neighbor is watching you!
You try to shrug this feeling off, but it persists throughout the day, and now you’re wondering what are the signs your neighbor is stalking you?
Stalking is a common and serious problem. According to a 2016/2017 data report by the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), 1 in 3 women (31.2%) and 1 in 6 men (16.1%) in the United States reported being stalked in their lifetime. Of these, 60% of victimized women and 36% of men were stalked by being followed or watched.
It’s natural to feel concerned when you think someone may be watching you without your knowledge or consent. This article will explore the 13 signs that your neighbor may be spying on you, including some not-so-obvious signs, and what you can do if you have an intrusive neighbor.
Let’s get started. Here are the signs to look out for:
1. They’re Always Outside When You’re Leaving or Coming Back From Work
If your neighbor is often outside when you’re leaving or coming back from work, this may be the first suspicious sign your neighbor is watching you. It’s as if they know your schedule, and they’re waiting for you to come and go.
But don’t be too quick to judge. There could be several reasons why your neighbor is sometimes outside during these particular times.
Maybe they just like to spend time outside. Or maybe they’re keeping an eye on their kids, or picking up the newspaper in the morning and taking their dog out for a walk at night.But if you’re always seeing them outside when you’re coming and going, it’s definitely not a good sign. They may be curious about what you’re doing, and this is definitely one of the signs to watch for.
2. They’re Constantly Watching You From Their Window or Porch
It may also be that every time you walk past your neighbor’s house, it’s impossible to avoid the sensation that they’re watching you. And even when you can’t see them, you get the feeling that your neighbor is peeping at you.
If your neighbor is always looking out their window or porch, it’s another sign that they may be stalking you. This could be a way for them to keep an eye on you at all times.
Whether you can see them as clear as daylight staring at you from their window or porch, or it’s that slight movement of the curtains or the faint shadow in the window, try to keep a record of the times that your neighbor is watching you. This could help if you decide to report them to the police later.
3. They Make Comments About Your Activities Which They Should Not Normally Know
During a conversation, your neighbor may comment on things that they shouldn’t normally know about. This could be the first subtle sign that they’re spying on you.
This may include comments about your personal life, what you do during the day, games that you play with your kids in the evening, or even things that you’ve said in confidence.
If your neighbor mentions something that you’ve never shared with them before, it’s definitely a cause for concern. This may not only be an indication that your neighbor is watching you, but could also be their way of trying to find out more about you. They could even be passing on information to someone else.
It’s important to take action if you feel that your neighbor is privy to confidential information about you. You may want to consider talking to them about it, politely and respectfully. This could be the first step in getting them to stop spying on you.
If they persist or become verbally abusive, you may want to report them to the police. Remember to keep a record of confidential information they appeared to know about.
|Are you worried about people knowing too much about you or invading your privacy? Read about how to use boundaries and other effective tools to help you live a private life.|
4. They Ask to Borrow Things From You That You’ve Just Purchased
It’s springtime and you’ve just purchased your first-ever power washer and haven’t told anyone about it. Not even your wife! You put it in your backyard shed, and can’t wait for the weekend to try it out on your driveway.
To your surprise, the following day your neighbor knocks on your door and asks to borrow your new power washer! How did he know you bought one?
There is a slight possibility they just happened to see you carry it into your shed the day before. That’s probably OK if you believe in coincidence, but if it’s happened more than once, it’s probably not.
If your neighbor has asked to borrow things that you’ve just purchased, and no one knows you have, it could be another not-so-obvious sign that they’re keeping an eye on you.
5. They Park Their Car Near Yours, Even When There Are Plenty of Other Open Spots
People don’t park their car in the same spot every time they come home from work, unless they have a reserved parking spot.
If your neighbor is parking their car or truck near yours every day, even when there are plenty of other spots available, it could be a sign that they’re stalking you. They may be using this tactic to get close to you to keep an eye on what you’re doing.
To test this theory out, you can try parking your car in a different spot every day for a day or two, and see if they move their car near yours. If they do, then it’s something you should be concerned about.
|Does your neighbor keep parking on your driveway? Read about how to “drive” your neighbor off your driveway and keep them away in this article.|
6. You Keep Running Into Them at Different Places
It’s unusual to constantly run into your neighbor when you’re out and about. However, if they’re stalking you, it’s a different story.
If your neighbor is always popping up at the grocery store, at your hair salon appointment, or when you’re picking up the mail, it’s probably not a coincidence. There’s a big chance they’re following you around.
That’s why if you’re suspicious about someone spying on you, it’s important to stay alert in public places and always be aware of your surroundings and take precautions.
Do you feel like doing some detective work? Try to change where you shop and see if they follow you there. If they do, it may be time to take action.
7. They Follow You and Family Members on Your Social Media (And Leave Comments)
It’s no secret that social media is sometimes used for stalking. In fact, according to the NISVS report mentioned earlier, among victims of stalking, 55.9% of women and 60.7% of men were victimized through social media.
A curious neighbor who’s following you and your family members on your social media accounts, and always leaving comments, could be stalking you.
It’s important to remember that not everyone who follows you on social media, and leaves likes and comments, is a “friend”. This is particularly important if they are someone you hardly know or interact with in real life.
If it’s happening more than once, it’s something you should be concerned about.
Here are some simple steps that you can take to limit access to you on social platforms if you’re feeling unsafe or uncomfortable with your neighbor’s behavior on social media:
- Turn off your location services
- Change your privacy settings to allow friends only access
- Limit content you post to things you’re comfortable others could know (especially if you know your neighbor sees what you post)
- Unfriend people who seem to know too much about your personal life
- Watch out for strangers who send messages or “friend requests” online
8. They Ask Personal Questions About Your Life
Another subtle sign to look out for in an intrusive neighbor, is that they keep asking personal questions about your life that’s none of their business. It’s possible that they’re trying to get closer to you and learn more about you and your family.
While sometimes asking about your health may be a sign of showing concern, if they’re asking too many questions or ones that are too personal, it’s a cause for concern.
If your neighbor is always asking about your family, your work, or your personal life, it’s best to keep your guard up and be careful about what information you share with them. You don’t want to inadvertently give them too much information.
Here are some examples of suspicious questions your neighbor might ask:
- How many people live in your house?
- When do you go to bed?
- What time do you leave for work in the morning?
- How long will you be away on vacation?
- Do you arm your security system every time you leave the house?
9. They’ve Installed Cameras in Areas Where They Can See Your House or Backyard
Your neighbor may install cameras or recording devices in areas where they can see your house or backyard. They may be using these devices to watch you and even record your conversations!
This is another sign to look out for if you’re worried about your neighbor’s interest in your affairs.
But don’t be tempted to tamper with or blind your neighbor’s security cameras, as this may be illegal, even if you feel they may be violating your privacy.
|You can read more about your right to privacy and if your neighbor can have a camera installed and pointed at your backyard here.|
10. You’ve Found Hidden Cameras or Listening Devices Installed on Your Property
If your neighbor is determined to intrude on your personal life, they may go to extreme lengths to find out more about you. An extremely intrusive neighbor may install hidden cameras or listening devices inside your house, your backyard or in your car to spy on you.
It is illegal to install hidden recording devices without the consent of the person being filmed or recorded in most states and jurisdictions.
If you suspect there are hidden cameras in your house, you can try to find them using these techniques:
- Look for blinking lights in the dark (often a signal that the device is activated)
- Shine a flashlight (using your phone) at every spot in your house to look for small light reflections from hidden camera lenses
- Visually scan every room and all appliances, big and small, for hidden cameras
- Use scanning app on mobile devices
- Buy a professional camera scanner
If you do find any hidden cameras or listening devices, don’t remove them from their location. Report your findings to your local police department and let them do their investigation.
|If you think your neighbor may be eavesdropping on your conversations, read more about how to stop them in this article.|
11. They Will Often Pass By to Drop off Mail Addressed to You That Was Left in Their Mailbox “By Accident”
One way a neighbor may spy on you is by tampering with your mail. This could include taking letters out of your mailbox, opening and reading them, or replacing them with fake letters.
A very not-so-obvious sign that your neighbor may be snooping around in your mail is if they will often hand-deliver your mail that was “accidentally” left in their mailbox. A one-time incidence may be OK, but if this happens repeatedly then it’s no accident.
If you’re worried that your neighbor may be spying on you, here are some ways to identify mail tampering:
- Look for broken seals or torn envelope flaps.
- Look for signs of glue used to seal the envelope that was opened.
- Look for taping or stickers that were not on the envelope when it was delivered.
- Look for opened envelopes with missing letters or articles.
- Look for postmarks that are different from the postmark on the envelope.
- Look for incorrect addresses or wrong names on the envelope.
If you notice any of these, you may want to report it to your local post office and/or police department.
12. There’s Evidence That Someone Has Been in Your House While You Were Gone
You come home from work one day to find that your front door is unlocked. You’re not sure if you left it open or if someone else did. As you walk in, you notice that some of your things are out of place. You can’t help but feel like someone has been in your house while you were gone.
If you have a curious neighbor and you’ve been suspicious that someone has been in your house or backyard when you’re not around, then it’s possible it was your neighbor.
There are a few things you can do to try to catch your neighbor in the act:
- Set up a security camera or alarm system.
- Install motion-activated lights or cameras around your property.
- Ask a friend to keep an eye on your house while you’re away.
If you do suspect that someone has been in your house when you’re not at home, it’s important to contact the police and let them investigate. This is a serious crime and should not be taken lightly.
13. You Just Have a Weird Feeling That Someone Is Watching You and There’s No Other Explanation
Sometimes you can just have a feeling like someone is watching you, even when there’s no proof,
It might be a total stranger, or there could be no other explanation than it being that creepy neighbor who you saw staring at you from his driveway earlier!
In fact, it is more common for a stalker to be someone known to a victim according to the NISVS report. In their report, more than 40% of victims, both women and men, reported an acquaintance as their perpetrator, which included friends, co-workers, and neighbors.
The best thing to do in this situation is to reach out to your local police department for help. Let them investigate the situation and see if they can find any evidence that someone has been watching you. If it is your neighbor, the police can help you get the proper protection you need.
How to Deal With an Intrusive Neighbor
If you’re seeing any of these signs, it’s important to be aware that your neighbor may be watching and tracking your every move! This can be extremely unsettling and even dangerous, so if you have any suspicions, please reach out to the authorities for help.
If you’re still not sure, but you feel like your neighbor is spying on you, here are a few steps you can take:
- Keep a record of the times that your neighbor is watching you.
- Talk to your neighbor. Remain polite but clear about how you feel and ask them to stop watching you.
- Don’t post personal information on social media.
- Adjust your privacy setting on your social media accounts to limit access to people you know.
- Learn more about how your neighbor may or may not be invading your privacy with their security cameras.
- Look out for signs that your mail has been tampered with.
- Install security cameras or alarms.
- Ask a friend to keep an eye on your house.
- Contact the police.
“Spying among friends is never acceptable”Angela Merkel
If you’re worried that your neighbor may be spying on you, it’s important to be vigilant and look for any signs. If you do notice any suspicious activity, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.