Just last week, a former Villanova student made international news when he was charged with using his iPhone to take secret videos of three females in the bathroom of a private home in Switzerland. One of the females was an underage teenager. Police have said the man then uploaded the videos to porn websites from his dorm room. This all came out when police said one of the women found out the hard way a video of her undressing had been posted on the internet.
Doesn’t this sound eerily familiar?
It seems like just yesterday when, in 2008, then-ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews was clandestinely filmed nude – obviously without her knowledge or consent – in multiple hotel rooms across several states through peepholes created by a stalker. The following year, a video in which Andrews appears nude suddenly went viral on the Internet. Luckily for Andrews, who now works for Fox Sports, the stalker was apprehended, pled guilty, and served over 2½ years in prison.
Unluckily for Andrews, the video still appears on the internet and probably will be for the rest of her life … and beyond. The incident inspired her to lobby for tougher anti-stalking laws. However, no laws can prevent emerging surveillance technologies from being used in inappropriate ways.
So what’s a potential victim to do to minimize the likelihood of being videotaped nude by a Peeping Tom? The good news is the risk of this crime happening in your home is quite low, but is much higher in public – specifically when in public bathrooms or hotel rooms.
I’ll give you three tips right now.
1) When in a hotel room, cover all portions of the windows with curtains.
2) Be acutely aware of who is around you. Trust your instincts. If you hear funny noises or see unusual lights, contact the police.
3) Consider using an RF Signal Detector to search for hidden cameras/smart phones.
Fake valets are stealing cars from Center City Philadelphia parking garages. If you’re like me, you’ve never given a second thought to giving your car keys to a total stranger. But because of a series of incidents in the past week, it’s critical to now exercise caution. I recommend these three steps:
1. Make sure they’re in uniform and not just wearing dark clothes.
2. Read the claim ticket carefully. In one case, the imposter gave the owner an expired ticket.
3. Consider using a GPS alarm system. You can catch them in minutes.
This Week’s Tip
Slydial allows you to leave someone a message on their cellphone without talking directly to him. I’ve used this free service when I’ve been short on time but had to leave the person voicemail to show I returned their call. It’s a valuable service if you want to avoid an awkward conversation (e.g., “Where are you?” or “How come you didn’t call me back right away?”) or have to return a lot of phone calls after hours and don’t want the person’s phone to ring (this will backfire if their phone rings upon voicemail notification, though).
Just call 267-SLY-DIAL (267-759-3425), listen to an ad and enter the cellphone number you want to call. You will be automatically connected to the person’s voicemail. Luckily for Public Record readers, Slydial’s phone number is a local Southeastern Pennsylvania number, so there’s no long-distance fee. If you would rather not listen to an ad, you can pay $2.95 a month, or $29.95 a year, for premium service. www.slydial.com.
Send fanmail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Come visit him at www.featherman.com. Copyright ©2013 by John Featherman.