Every time Kate* logs onto the internet or makes a phone call she worries that a cyber stalker is tracking her.
- Police have told a woman who believes she is a cyber stalking victim to expect lengthy delays in the investigation
- The woman says unusual activity on her devices began as soon as her relationship ended
- Australia’s e-Safety Commissioner says the case is concerning and “unusual”
The Victorian woman, who is in her 40s, says she has encountered 18 months of personal hell — her phones and computers have been hacked and fake social media and online dating accounts have been created in her name.
The incidents left Kate so afraid that she quit her job and moved to the country to work on a farm.
To minimise risk of cyber attacks, she now visits the bank in person and receives emails through a third party.
Kate believes she is being stalked by her ex-partner.
Police are looking into the case, but Kate says she has been told by officers there is little chance of any action being taken for months or even years due to a huge backlog of internet-based crimes.
Her fears were heightened this week after the death of 23-year-old Melbourne woman Celeste Manno, whose family reportedly said had been the victim of online stalking.
“I can’t ever put that thought out of my mind, that he’s going to turn up somewhere and that things are going to escalate in his mind and become a real-world situation for me,” Kate said.
Relationship ended after suspicions raised
Kate and her ex-partner met online through a mutual friend.
She then began working for the same business he was employed by, which was when she noticed strange activity on her computer.
“I’d find a lot of things looked up that I hadn’t looked up myself, finding my location showing up in places that I wasn’t,” Kate said.
“A lot of history and links involving programs designed to tap into microphones and computers.
Kate says several IT experts analysed her computer and other devices…