Impersonating People Online

  • Simply impersonating another person online is not a criminal offence, however there are certain existing civil laws that could be infringed upon as a result of online impersonation
  • The Police cannot take action against a civil offence. It is usually against the terms and conditions of social media platforms to impersonate another so any matter relating to this should be reported to them directly

You may want to contact a solicitor or Citizens Advice if you are victim of any of the following:

Misuse of Private Information

  • Creating a fake social media profile of a real person without their consent could potentially infringe on this civil law. If the profile contains private information about the person, such as: relationship status, sexual orientation, religious views, political views or other disclosure of private information then it may amount to misuse of private information. This is NOT a Police matter and you should not report it to the Police

Defamation

  • If the impersonator makes a false statement that damages the reputation of an individual or business or exposes them to hatred, ridicule or avoidance then this could be termed defamation. Remember that this is NOT a Police matter and should not be reported to the Police

Copyright

  • Generally, in the eyes of the law, the person who has taken the photograph owns the copyright to the photograph. If someone is using your personal images on a social media site it is recommended that you take action by reporting them to the social media site itself. Remember that this is NOT a Police matter and should not be reported to the Police

Fraudulent Impersonation

  • If someone impersonates you online to illegally obtain money, goods or a service then it is possible that this could amount to fraud, which is a criminal offence. You should report online fraud to Action Fraud