What to do if you are being impersonated online?

Impersonation is one of the most common tactics used by harassers online. It can be extremely damaging if your organization or campaign is being impersonated. Understanding the repercussion of impersonations we are compiling a step-to-step guide of fighting and reporting impersonation.

Immediate Steps:

  • Issue a disclaimer. Let people know about the presence of an impersonator and request them to report it. Social networks respond quickly to block or spam reports done by multiple people.
  • Do not engage with the troll. These profiles mostly thrive on attention providing them that is only going to make matters worse. Ignore & report.
  • Start writing an impersonation report.

Things to consider when writing an impersonation report/complaint: 

  • Keep you ID handy. Most social networks demand you send them a copy of your ID to report impersonation.[Note: We do not support providing your personal information to any social network.Privacy is Key. If you do it for the sake of proving your ID please demand to know the privacy policy and share minimal information possible]
  • Information is key. Social networks with millions of users get a lot of requests reporting spam, you want to keep your information brief and apt.
  • The key to establish impersonation is through proving that the identity belongs to you. Therefore this format may be helpful: ” Name of Original ID: URL: Date Of Creation, Name of Impersonater: URL: Date of Creation”, this format is usually most helpful as it clarifies instant that your account was created first and the impersonator has since created a fake ID. If someone is impersonating your account on a social network before you created an account, consider adding detail of your other networks or any information that will help establish your or your campaigns identity.
  • Get others to file a complaint as well. This will build pressure and also validate your identity. If you are an organization or a campaign your avid followers will vouch for the fact that you are infact the original representative/source, if it is your personal ID testimony of friends and family is an added benefit.

How to report impersonation on Facebook:

To file a report with facebook go here

Facebook Help Center Lists ways to report impersonation

How do I report a fake account that’s pretending to be me?

Fake timelines created to imitate real people (impostor accounts) are not allowed on Facebook. If someone created an account pretending to be you:

  1. Go to the timeline
  2. Click the  and then select Report/Block
  3. Check the box next to Report this timeline
  4. Click This person is pretending to be someone
  5. Select Me from the drop-down menu
  6. Click Continue
  7. Add a description for why you’re reporting the timeline
  8. Check the box next to I confirm that this report is correct
  9. Click Continue to submit your report

If you don’t have a Facebook account, please file a report here.
If you’ve lost access to an account you created, learn how to secure your account.

How to report impersonation on Twitter:

Let’s first understand what Twitter considers imperonation according to its policies:

An account will not be removed if

  • the user shares your name but has no other commonalities, or
  • the profile clearly states it is not affiliated with or connected to any similarly-named individuals.
Who can report an impersonation account?

Twitter’s policies require that impersonation reports come from the individual being impersonated or someone legally authorized to act on his or her behalf.

If you are reporting an account that is impersonating someone else, you will need to provide proof that you are authorized to act on their behalf. If you are attempting to report for another individual and you are not their legal representative, we will not take action on your removal request.

If neither of these apply proceed to report to twitter.
  • Report to Twitter here

For more help please read Twitter FAQs here

What information do I need to include when reporting impersonation?
In order to investigate impersonation, we need the following information:

Username of the person impersonating you (or the URL of their profile page):
Your First and Last Name:
Your Twitter username (if you have one):
Brief description of the impersonating content:
If you are not the person involved in the impersonation, but are legally authorized to act their behalf, please include the information above in addition this information:

Your Name:
Company Website:
Company domain email address:
Your title and legal relationship to the person/entity involved:

You can then file a Ticket Request using this form on the Twitter website.

How to report impersonation on Google+:

  • To report impersonation on Google+ go here  
In order to report a profile impersonation you on Google+, you need the following information:

Attach a copy of your ID with your name and photo clearly visible. You can block out other personal information. Your ID will only be used to verify your name and will be deleted after review.

How to report impersonation on Blogspot:
  • To report an impersonation on Blogger please go here 
How to report impersonation on WordPress:

  • To report an impersonation on Blogger please go here
This is an open resource and we will continue to help more useful information on this post.

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