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Sorry this is off topic. I just realize people here are very helpful and knowledgeable. I scowered the fool looking for a proper place to post this and could not.

Believe it or not I am being stalked over an eBay transaction. The post office damaged an item I sent to a customer. I offered a replacement. The buyer was obnoxious and demanded a refund plus extra money. I said I would not do that and all offers were now void. He returned the item anyway and demanded the money back. I offered to send it back if he sent me the shipping charges but I had already told him to further resolutions were possible.

I have not contacted him since except for once asking for his address again and another time stating that his actions were considered stalking and I needed to know his location to take legal action. This was 3 months ago and has not deterred his actions at all. So far I have received.

=13 BIZAARE Post cards coming both to my and my wife's name
=Countless Bizaare e-mails
=Phone Callsnot to pay for their transactions.
Filed an eBay fraud report which he failed to return to, to answer the facts I've put forth.
=Created aliases to bid on about 40 of my auctions and not pay.

I have notified eBay and AOL on each of these actions yet they take no action because they can't prove the alias are his and his stalking is a police matter.
=E-mailed hundreds of my customers under another AOL alias and posed as an eBay official telling customers AOL of course, doesn't even give a reply except a automated reply.

I have kept everything and believe this loon is not going to go away. He promises that he "is not going to go away" and also "to turn up the heat" during the winter months.

I have made no contact as I know this is necessary to establish this is a one-way stalking situation and not a mutual fight.

He is another state. What should I do? Is a PPO the first step? Where do I get one? Do my wife and I need separate ones? What other legal steps should I take?

I have looked on the internet for all information I can on him. I found that all his neighbors names and addresses are available on a website.

I am wondering if I mailed documentation of all his stalking activity to his neighbors that perhaps others could give me more information of his criminal activity. Also that perhaps, the information would get back to him and scare him off.

I am worried that perhaps that action would only provoke him or hinder my legal actions against him. I know it is not slander since I have all the documentation and the reader is drawing their own conclusion.

I also want to warn them that there is a dangerously unstable person in their community. Perhaps this is happening to others and I could strengthen the action taken against him or someone who is silent to speak out. I don't believe a criminal like this has only an isolated incident.

Please help me because I am tired of this and want my wife and I to be safe!

Sorry this is off-topic. I just believe there is a lot of knowledge at this board.
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Piranha,

My suggestion is that you continue trying to get help from ebay, as well as notifying the authorities. If you feel that there is danger here, it's very important that others get involved.

Your local law enforcement should be able to direct you to the agencies that can help. I'm not absolutely positive on this, but when internet threats are involved, the FBI would be the agency to help, as these cross state lines.

I'm sure others will have some ideas as well.

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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Yish. What a creep!

All I can suggest is filtering your e-mail and ignoring him. Save any physical mail you get from him and complain to the post office. I think sending threats through the US Mail is a felony.

You might talk to a lawyer, but icky stuff sent over the internet is a grey area legally. My daughter was bothered by someone a while back, and we ended up just filtering and ignoring. The person eventually got bored and moved on. But s/he didn't have our home address. THAT is what worries me about your situation -- this obviously demented person knows where you LIVE!

Best of luck.

-- Melissa
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I don't know how my message got scrambled. It was correct on my screen when I posted it. Anyway, this is the wacko's activity.

=======

=13 BIZAARE Post cards coming both to my and my wife's name

=Countless Bizaare e-mails

=Phone Calls.

=Filed an eBay fraud report which he failed to return to, to answer the facts I've put forth.

=Created aliases to bid on about 40 of my auctions and not pay.

=E-mailed hundreds of my customers under another AOL alias and posed as an eBay official telling customers not to pay for their transactions.


=====

I am keeping all e-mails, all postcards, making a log of phone calls, all e-mails from people notifying me of his messages to them.
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Funny coincidence. The stalker's initials are MN so it is humorous to get a reply from someone called EscapeNM! I gotta keep my humor even in things like this!
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About complaining to the post office, they said they only take the fraud complains. Harrassment is reported to the police. I've called my stalker's police department and they say I report this to my local police.

So another question I have that perhaps someone can answer. If this goes to court, will it take place in my state or his?
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Piranha,

First off, don't stoop down to this person level. Do not tell his neighbors or anything like that. That will only make matter worse

From the business side, I would do all you can with Ebay, since this is effecting your Ebay reputation. Explain the whole situation again.

The bigger problem is that this person has left the realm of pure Cyberstalking and has moved to more direct approaches. This person know your name and address, so don't take this too lightly.

The problem is that the local law enforcement agencies may just ignore this person. Many do not understand Cyberstalking, but since this guy is calling you and sending post card to harass you, this seems more than an Ebay tranaction gone bad.

There are people in this world that gain pleasure from this kind of control. Getting a restraining order might help, but keep in mind this could just escalate things even more, since this person doesn't seem to be stable. Just something to think about

Take a look at http://www.cyberangels.org
They have a lot of info on Cyberstalking.

Sorry I'm not much help.


Lenny




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Piranha --

Very scary. I second the advice from JPLenny. Try to separate out the various issues here to get the appropriate help and maintain a civilized and "professional" approach to handling it. Stay away from his neighbors.

It is good that you are keeping records of everything.

I believe that AOL (and probably e-Bay) has a department for handling the type of e-mail posts you are talking about. I would suggest that you forward copies of the e-mails sent as a "guise" of an official to those proper fraud/spam oversight department of each so they can be investigated. Since you said some of your customers are also receiving e-mails from him, ask them to forward copies to the investigative departments as well.

You don't mention how close this guy lives to you. If it is anywhere within 100 miles, I would definately go for a restraining order -- even if he is further away. The restraining order can be worded to limit contact except through a third party you name if there is still unresolved business. Have an attorney serve as your third party intermediary.

Going back to the origin of all this -- what was the value of the product you sent him? Was it something that was insured through the Post Office? If so, are they responsible for the costs if they damaged it? You mentioned that when he didn't take the replacement deal on your terms, you said all deals were off. This may not be the best customer service approach. Did you ever follow-up by sending the replacement item? If not, have you asked him to return the damaged item (shipping handled at your cost) and then offered to refund the $? Is it possible that this creep just thinks he is on the reverse end of a cyber-sale scam and just wants his $ back?

In any event, I think that it would be good for you to offer again (unless you've already done so), to replace or refund the product. Whatever you send -- do so by certified and insured mail. You need to demonstrate/document that you did everything possible from your end to "correct" the complaint that he had.

Once you've corrected the original issue (perhaps you already have, wasn't clear), then have an attorney follow up with a letter to this creep clarifying that the his funds have been returned (or item replaced) and that all harassing communications should be stopped, follow up communications should be channeled to the attorney/third party. Have the letter also spell out the laws that this guy is breaking -- just to let him know that he is out of line, and that if it doesn't stop you may take further action to protect yourself.

In the mean time, follow up with the fraud departments and the restraining order. The mis-use of the net is something that should be followed up on regardless. Even if this guy had a legitimate issue to start with, he has clearly abused the system.

Whether you decide to take further action through a civil court depends on to what extent he has damaged your business. Even if he has told other customers not to pay you, they have an obligation to pay if they have received a product. This becomes an separate issue with each new customer. Again, the e-bay folks should be able to lend some support in the collections department area, hopefully. Nonetheless, the nature of what the creep is doing is slanderous and is "damaging" your business.

As a final thought (and as an alternative to you slandering him amongst his neighbors), you may want to invest a few $ on a private investigator to learn if this guy has filed lawsuits in the past (or any against him!), and whether or not he is otherwise a fine upstanding citizen (good credit history, regular employment, etc.)

There is that remote possiblity that he is otherwise a fine upstanding individual -- who in this one particular case feels he has been taken advantage of and is hounding you on a matter of principle (something even I have been known to do) -- until you return his $. Simply returning the $ may end it (even if you shouldn't otherwise have to). OR, he may simply be a controlling lunatic as the previous post noted.

If you return the $ along with a request for him to return the item (and he doesn't), then you could turn around and sue him in small claims court for the cost of the item or it's return.


Sorry, long response. Good luck!!!

Making Trax
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See the website

www.lovemenot.org


It is the Los Angeles DA office's site to assist stalker victims. Many great resources.

Good luck!

Julie
iDream
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Thanks for recommending this great site.

I noticed they listed in their bibliography the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. This is an excellent book on personal safety of all kinds, including protecting yourself from stalkers.

I highly recommend it (it is available in paperback, and many libraries would have a copy).

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