Email / Internet harrassment

Anyone had the misfortune to get harrassed online? Fun, isn’t it? :frowning: (I’ll put this in GQ, but it may be more of an IMHO thing).

Say someone registers a bogus gmail account, busyscissors AT, and proceeds to use it to sign the real me up for fraudulent and nefarious activties online. What, if anything, can be done? Will gmail do anything if I complain, like kill the account? Is there then anything stopping the same lunatic from registering busyscissors2 AT and giving it another go? I see you don’t need a secondary email address to get a gmail account, so it seems incredibly easy to abuse .

Just wondering if things like IP blocking etc can be done, or are even effective.

IANAL, etc, so this is more answered in the vein of IMHO.

You have no right to prevent someone from signing up with any email address at gmail or yahoo or whatever. You have no particular right to that username.

Signing you up for things without authorization and using your real postal address could fall under mail fraud. Doing the same thing with your email address I don’t think is as clear. What kind of things are you being signed up for?

I’m not sure where IP blocking enters into things. Who are you trying to block and from where?

Your best bet may be a restraining order for harrassment.

You’ll just have to get some proof as to who is doing it.

Depending on where you live you can record a phone conversation with only your own permission. emails should also be sufficient proof.

Gmail’s terms of use prohibit “us[ing] the Service for any fraudulent or inappropriate purpose,” and the program policies prohibit “Impersonat[ing] another person.” So, you could complain to google and they might shut down the account. Of course, this doesn’t stop the harasser from making a new account.

There are some legal steps you might take, such as the restraining order mentioned above, but that will involve some trouble and expense, and might or might not be effective, depending on the circumstances (e.g., a restraining order against someone in another country probably won’t do much). And, there’s not much you can do if you don’t know who the harasser is.

What sorts of things is this person signing you up for? If they require payment, you could potentially track down the harasser that way. Or, if you’re highly motivated and have resources, you might be able to use subpoenas to get the person’s IP address, and in turn his identity.

Thanks for the replies. I don’t want to go into details, (sry, realise that doesn’t help the thread much), but it’s probably best described as malicious nuisance - I’m certainly not in any danger or anything like that - just stressed out!
I’ll maybe contact gmail - the person has definitely used their account to impersonate me - and see what happens.