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