We can all learn a lesson or two from a popular television series: beware of stranger things!
Listen to that sixth sense
A tingling in the back of your neck doesn’t always mean an evil monster is lurking in the tunnels underneath your town. But that “sixth sense” can alert you to serious danger. It’s important to listen to that intuition when you feel that something around you is unusual. Whether it’s that pit in your stomach, the small voice in your head, or a tingling in the back of your neck, learn to decipher your intuition alerting you to stranger things in the vicinity. Then, when you get that feeling, don’t ignore it!
Avoid the Upside Down
Like the 80’s kids battling aliens, beware of Upside Down situations. You may feel like you’re in the Upside Down if you find yourself in a dangerous or precarious scenario that poses a higher risk of becoming a victim. Avoiding these situations can reduce your risk. Avoid walking alone at night, especially through high-crime areas or areas with which you’re unfamiliar. Be alert when walking through parking garages or other enclosed structures. Remain vigilant about your surroundings and try not to be looking down at your phone. Make efforts to be home before the bars close at night so it’s less likely you are on the road with drunk drivers. Lock your car and hide valuable items to reduce the risk of being robbed. And, of course, look out for roots that drag you into dark tunnels, dog aliens, and melting rats.
Strangers can pose a risk of theft, injury, or leading you to the Mind Flayer. Criminals frequently seek out victims who may be especially vulnerable to their attacks, such as the elderly, children, non-English speakers, the poor, and the uneducated, among others. For example, identity thieves may target elderly individuals with grandchildren overseas in the military, pretending to need bail money for the grandchild. Email schemes send mass emails to users, falsely stating their bank passwords need updating in order to steal peoples’ bank login information. Landlords and property managers may manipulate non-English speakers’ lack of familiarity with the system.
It is important to be wary of strangers who request any personal information. Never click a link in an email, always go directly to the website of the account to reset your password. Never give out personal information over the phone when you receive a call. Feel free to indicate that you will call the company back directly, using a number you find on the company’s verified website, to make sure they have any personal information they need. Keep a keen eye out for lurking strangers.
Powers of Eleven
On television, when situations start to get particularly hairy, it helps to call on friends with super powers to save the day and defeat the monsters. In real life, friends with super powers are harder to come by. However, there are things everyday people can do to defeat the real-life monsters or other stranger things.
- Call for help. This may mean physically yelling for assistance. Screaming and alerting bystanders to your emergency may create a scene that scares away the perpetrator and helps others to know you need help.
- Learn how to call for help on your mobile devices:
- iPhone 7 and older: Quickly press the lock/side button five times. The Emergency SOS slide bar will appear, as well as Medical ID. The phone also begins an automatic countdown; if the screen isn’t cancelled, emergency services will be called.
- iPhone 8 or newer: Press and hold the side/lock button and either volume button at the same time. The screen will show the Emergency SOS and Medical ID slide bars, and the same emergency countdown will begin.
- Android: Press “Emergency” on the bottom of the lock screen. This link will also allow you to input emergency contacts and medical information.
- Google Pixel: There is not currently a feature that allows you to automatically send an emergency SOS notification. However, you can download a third-party mobile application that provides this feature such as Life360, Kitestring, or React Mobile.
- Samsung Galaxy: Press the power button four times rapidly, and the phone will send an emergency text and location data to your designated emergency contacts.
- iWatch: Press and hold the side button for several seconds. The Emergency SOS and Medical ID slide bars will appear on the watch screen.
- Practice basic self-defense moves, so if you find yourself in a dangerous situation without a friendly super hero to call, you can still put up a fight.
- Purchase security devices to protect your property like doorbell cameras and home-security systems.
- Carry pepper spray with you if you’ll be walking alone or at night and have it in your hand or easy to reach.
If you find yourself the victim of some of these Stranger Things and you’d like more information on your rights in the civil justice system, contact Koller Trial Law for a free consultation.