How to Lose a Tail on Foot

That guy behind you looks suspicious. Maybe we should lose him.


  1. Image titled Lose a Tail on Foot Step 1
    First of all, you need to know if someone is following you for real, or if your mind is getting the better of you.
    • You need to see behind you sometimes, and you can't just turn and look. Turning for no reason and staring at someone tends to grab their attention
      • Twisting your back in a stretching fashion or dropping an item behind you is a good way to turn without anyone paying much attention.
      • After looking at said person(s), make a mental note of things like clothing color, hair type, and shoe color.Shoe color and type is important because while a tail can remove jackets, sunglasses, wigs, and extra shirts, I've yet to see someone remove their shoes for the sake of spying.
      • Also, check for which hand they use more often. This will help in step 3. Just trust me.
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    You've recognized a tail. Time to get moving! Move often and don't stick around. Checking behind you is a clear sign that you know you are being followed, and more often than not results in a complete feeling of dread. Don't look back. And if you must, drop something: Dropping a pen, phone, or wallet can both grab attention to yourself, and provide an ample opportunity to turn around and look for it. When you bend down to grab it, its quite natural for someone in that situation to look up to make certain no one will run into them. Take that opportunity to see anyone that fits your above description, or at least anyone suspicious that is staring too much.
    • Don't look into anyone's eyes for more than a split second, and look for people that suddenly change direction. This works best in an open area as someone following you will have to either change direction in an awkward spot (Imagine walking in a giant curve towards your house instead of straight towards it), or walk straight past you allowing you time to walk the opposite direction. In either case, you can get away or recognize the person for later.
  3. Image titled Lose a Tail on Foot Step 3
    Find a bathroom.
    • While your lavatory needs may seem trivial when being pursued, take a moment to think of which hand your pursuer uses more. When you exit the bathroom look at the opposite direction of whichever hand the pursuer is partial too. When you approach the bathroom, your pursuer will turn (often right for right handed and left for left handed) to wait somewhere close. Scan the area (right for left handers, and left for right handers) for anyone suspicious and continue your walk.
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    At this point, if you recognize someone more than once for any reason, you are being followed. Time to actually lose them.
    • The Elevator Escape: Simplicity plus normality equals blending in.Take a seat outside of an elevator to check a text message, fumble inside a wallet, or search a purse for some random item. This may seem stupid, but it will allow a pursuer to believe you are completely innocent in your activity. Seem interested in your actions, but before you get up: Leave something. Leave your phone, a wallet, a makeup kit. Leave something important that nobody would steal in the period of 20 seconds.After leaving something behind, walk into the elevator and press a random floor. Your pursuer will be 100% forced to follow you inside. (If they don't, then merely walk to a set of stairs after exiting on a different floor, and find your way somewhere else quick).
      • Before the doors close, check the elevator for shady characters, and stick your hand out to stop the doors from closing. Make your exit to the item you left behind, and turn back around to make sure nobody else stepped out.
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    Escape from level areas (No elevators).
    • Emergency phone call: Not what you think, but nevertheless most important. Text a friend and have them call you, then hang up after a few seconds. Don't put down your phone. Have a one sided conversation with an imaginary person on the other side of the phone, and describe some sort of emergency. "Is he stable? I knew he had heart problems but at his age?" or something similar is wonderful. After hanging up the phone, turn around or turn towards your vehicle and escape at a fast pace. Don't pause and don't do anything that would cause a real uproar. Make certain that your car isn't followed. In fact, I'm quite sure there's a few ways to lose a car tail on here as well.


  • Reflections. Mirrors and glass can reflect what's behind you. Use them accordingly. When walking into a store, or into anywhere for that matter: If the light is right, a glass door will present a dim yet satisfactory picture of what's behind you. Just be careful about your blind spot (Right behind your head).
  • Sitting. If you have to sit down somewhere new, where you don't usually go, have your back turned towards a wall. This minimizes your blind spot and effectively gives you a "License To Watch" everyone around you. You know.. You sit down, and work your eyes over a crowd, not really paying attention, but just sort of soaking up the atmosphere of who's around. This technique gives you almost total control over your surroundings.
  • Public areas and crowd surfing. Crowd surfing is the act of navigating through a crowd from point A to point B, while bumping into no one at all, and moving at a rather quick pace. Think of it as power walking with a purpose. Take long, intentional strides towards your next place to step. Twist your torso and ankles at an angle that provides the most maneuverability through a particular set of people. When possible take a turn at a fat person. Their rather large girth should hide you fairly well as you turn, and if your pursuer loses sight of you for a single moment, they will have an impossibly hard time finding you again.
  • Cops. Cops are a valuable resource. If you see some rent-a-cop security guard, don't be afraid to pass right by him. In my opinion, crossing by a cop while doing something wrong is very unnerving. Don't be afraid to just alert the police officer immediately! The police, although quite annoying at times, are there to protect and serve. If you happen to have some sort of unsavory item though (knife, blunt, etc) on your person, you may wish to be less adamant about alerting the authorities though. They have a habit of asking you to "file a report". Which is code for either fill out a long detailed paper right there, or down at their station full of police officers. Get the picture?
  • Security cameras. Security cameras are often rather bad in video quality, but walking past several at a time can provide undeniable evidence that at the very least, someone was trying to creep you out. Walk towards them, even if it means walking in a slight zig-zag pattern, as to try to get at least one face shot of your pursuer. Of course this means that you'll also need to remember where the cameras were, when you explain this to the police.


  • Don't confront the person following you. You don't know who they are, and I'd rather not come face to face with the stranger that may or may not be carrying a weapon.
  • If you think you are in real danger, do not simple try to lose this person. Choose a direction that isn't towards a secluded place, and run to find a cop. Better safe than sorry.

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Categories: Self Defense