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  1. #1

    Default Impersonating Family Member to Defame Me and Gathering Info Through Facebook Stalking

    I live in: Ohio.
    Possible involved parties live in: Indiana.
    Perpetrator lives in: Washington, DC.


    SHORT VERSION

    A person who I have blocked on all social networking sites pretended to be my stepsister and sent an unsolicited negative email of reference to a dog rescue I was applying to adopt from. I was rejected for the adoption because of it. The email contained lies about me and my boyfriend, as well as details that suggest she has access to my Facebook even though I blocked her and my privacy settings are all set to "friends only". In the defamatory email, she used my stepmother's name but claimed to be my stepsister (particularly named my father by name and claimed to be his stepdaughter).


    DETAILED VERSION

    I was applying to adopt a dog from a rescue and posted a link to the dog's shelter on my Facebook. My application to adopt the dog was rejected shortly thereafter. The rescue told me they had received an email "detailing living conditions" and that they "would NEVER adopt a dog" into my home. They refused to tell me who the email was from.

    I had a strong hunch it was a girl who I had had trouble with in the past, even though this girl is blocked from my Facebook. I made a Craigslist ad of a fake dog rescue pet, linked it to an email account I had made under an assumed name, and then posted a link to the ad on my Facebook just as before.

    Within five hours my assumed name email account received a "letter of concern" from someone using my stepmother's name and claiming to be my stepsister. It went into great detail about me so as to make it seem like it was from a legitimate source. All of the details (vacation dates, things about my sister, the fact that we were apartment hunting) could have been taken from my recent Facebook activity.

    There were a few outright lies told to make us look unstable and unsuitable. One story in particular was relayed with significant details changed so as to make my boyfriend look like a puppy had died due to his negligence (when actually it had died in an accident unrelated to his actions).

    The sender also included a phone number and a physical address, and offered to send money via PayPal to sponsor the dog should my application be rejected.

    I knew only a select handful of people knew about the puppy's accident and the girl I suspected was one of them. We called the number provided and it was definitely her voice on the other end.


    QUESTIONS
    1. What kind of legal action can I pursue against her? Civil litigation? Criminal charges? Restraining order?

    1. Is this considered cyberstalking, defamation, some sort of identity fraud, all of the above, or none? Am I the victim, is my stepsister, or is my stepmother?

    2. Do I have enough evidence to prove it was her? If not, what else do I need to get? Should I get the phone number traced to her name?

    3. Will the info I gathered through the emails she sent to my assumed identity be impermissible in court? If so, can the communications with the first dog rescue be subpoenaed?

    4. A facebook status where I said I wanted to "strangle my boss" was emailed to one of my supervisors two years ago and it fits this girl's m.o. Could I possibly link that to all this and get her for something bigger?

    5. My Facebook had (up until all this happened) things like a picture of my car showing the license plate and the name of an organization I was considering applying to work for. Could this girl have filed false police reports with my plate number? Is there any way of finding out if she contacted the organization I wanted to work for?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    98,846

    Default Re: Impersonating Family Member to Defame Me and Gathering Info Through Facebook Stal

    So, basically, you set up a "sting" operation to try to nail an ex-friend for saying nasty things about you via email, and you caught her doing exactly that - but you have suffered no harm of any sort and, as you were the recipient of her missive, her email wasn't actually sent to a third party? Defamation involves making false statements to third parties - statements made to you don't count, even if the person making the statements doesn't know it's you.

    You suspect this person has made similar claims about you on other occasions, but you have absolutely no evidence of that. And so far the only damage you've suffered is being turned down for a pet by an animal rescue. Is it worth paying a lawyer thousands of dollars to sue this person to try to gather evidence that this person is responsible for that communication, and to try to prevent her from doing it again?

    If you said you wanted to "strangle your boss" on Facebook and that was accurately reported to your boss, what do you imagine that you would be able to sue somebody for?

    We have no way of knowing what this person may have done or may be willing to do.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Impersonating Family Member to Defame Me and Gathering Info Through Facebook Stal

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    So, basically, you set up a "sting" operation to try to nail an ex-friend
    Nope. We attended the same college and had mutual friends, but I have never spoken to her face-to-face. She is not an ex-friend, but someone who had feelings for my boyfriend that were never returned. She sought me out after I started dating him. On Facebook, blogs, and so forth, I have repeatedly told her to leave me alone and blocked her in any way I can. This has gone on for over four years.

    and you caught her doing exactly that - but you have suffered no harm of any sort
    Do you only equate "harm" with being assaulted or losing money?

    First, I suffered emotional harm, which I realize from your other posts that you do not value, but is a real and damaging consequence of being stalked and having your reputation ruined in an area that's important to you.

    Second, my family member is being impersonated and their identity used to defame a relative. They would obviously like that to stop.

    Third, this person is gathering information about me to an extent that is disturbing. She knows significant details about my personal life despite my precautions (blocking her online, ending real-life friendships with mutual friends, and protecting anything I post on a social networking site).

    You suspect this person has made similar claims about you on other occasions, but you have absolutely no evidence of that.
    Nice of you to assume that, but no. My stepmother, the one whose name and identity the emailer tried to assume, contacted the first dog rescue. They confirmed that it was her name and identity that was used in the original email.

    Since she was using the same name, and the email is what disqualified me from adopting, then it is highly unlikely that the contents of the original email differed from those of the "sting" email I received.

    Is it worth paying a lawyer thousands of dollars to sue this person to try to gather evidence that this person is responsible for that communication, and to try to prevent her from doing it again?
    If it means it will create a legal record of her offenses (no matter how petty) that will intensify her level of punishment should she decide to continue or escalate the abuse, then yes. What started with rude and nasty comments online has crossed a line into my real life and reputation and it need not go any further.

    If it means it will scare her into leaving me the hell alone, then yes.

    If it means I will have some legal basis to get a restraining order against her and have a "paper trail" should she commit bodily harm against me or my family in the future--which is usually how these stalking situations end up--then yes.

    I just found out the other day that she's moving from the East coast to my city. If she is using someone else's account every four hours to check in on me via Facebook, there's no telling what will happen when she lives in the same zip code.

    If you said you wanted to "strangle your boss" on Facebook and that was accurately reported to your boss, what do you imagine that you would be able to sue somebody for?
    Because it wasn't accurately reported. She took what I said about a former boss and sent it to my supervisor at a different job, along with lies about often overhearing me say things like that in person. (Remember, we have never actually met in real life.) However, this happened in 2008 and I think there's a one year statute of limitations on defamation.

    We have no way of knowing what this person may have done or may be willing to do.
    Clearly. Which is why I didn't ask that question. What I asked is if false police reports could be filed using my license plate number. What that question implied is if that scenario was possible, or if I would have found out by now.

    If this wasn't worth my time and money to fight in court for, it wouldn't be worth my time to ask about in a forum. That's how endangered I feel by this woman.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Impersonating Family Member to Defame Me and Gathering Info Through Facebook Stal

    Quote Quoting stalked_and_scared
    View Post
    Nope. We attended the same college and had mutual friends, but I have never spoken to her face-to-face. She is not an ex-friend, but someone who had feelings for my boyfriend that were never returned. She sought me out after I started dating him. On Facebook, blogs, and so forth, I have repeatedly told her to leave me alone and blocked her in any way I can. This has gone on for over four years.

    You missed the point of MKIA's post....completely.



    Do you only equate "harm" with being assaulted or losing money?

    First, I suffered emotional harm, which I realize from your other posts that you do not value, but is a real and damaging consequence of being stalked and having your reputation ruined in an area that's important to you.

    Stop right there. This is a LEGAL board. This is about legalities. It's not about what anyone here values.

    Unless you can show tangible damages you have no case, period. "Emotional harm" very rarely comes into play.



    Second, my family member is being impersonated and their identity used to defame a relative. They would obviously like that to stop.

    And what damages have they suffered?



    Third, this person is gathering information about me to an extent that is disturbing. She knows significant details about my personal life despite my precautions (blocking her online, ending real-life friendships with mutual friends, and protecting anything I post on a social networking site).



    Nice of you to assume that, but no. My stepmother, the one whose name and identity the emailer tried to assume, contacted the first dog rescue. They confirmed that it was her name and identity that was used in the original email.

    Since she was using the same name, and the email is what disqualified me from adopting, then it is highly unlikely that the contents of the original email differed from those of the "sting" email I received.



    If it means it will create a legal record of her offenses (no matter how petty) that will intensify her level of punishment should she decide to continue or escalate the abuse, then yes. What started with rude and nasty comments online has crossed a line into my real life and reputation and it need not go any further.

    If it means it will scare her into leaving me the hell alone, then yes.

    If it means I will have some legal basis to get a restraining order against her and prevent her from doing bodily harm to me or my family in the future--which is usually how these stalking situations end up--then yes.

    I just found out the other day that she's moving from the East coast to my city. If she is using someone else's account every four hours to check in on me via Facebook, there's no telling what will happen when she lives in the same zip code.



    Because it wasn't accurately reported. She took what I said about a former boss and sent it to my supervisor at a different job, along with lies about often overhearing me say things like that in person. (Remember, we have never actually met in real life.) However, this happened in 2008 and I think there's a one year statute of limitations on defamation.



    Clearly. Which is why I didn't ask that question. What I asked is if false police reports could be filed using my license plate number. What that question implied is if that scenario was possible, or if I would have found out by now.


    Please. You have blown this WAY out of proportion.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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