Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

It's trivial to create accounts on both free email and social media services impersonating someone else. Unfortunately, it's not so trivial to clean up.

Somebody is using a fake orkut account of my name. How can I remove that account without knowing the person who is using fake profile of my name? Plz help me. I'm in a great trouble. If possible,send me the process to hack the profile.

Hack the profile? You're in trouble, and you're saying that you want to get into more trouble by breaking the law?

I don't think so.

Let's look at this from a more rational point of view, shall we?

The news isn't great, but there are steps you can take.

Customer Service

I would first attempt to contact the customer service department of the service you're using. It's possible, perhaps even likely, that their terms of service explicitly forbid the types of things that the person impersonating you is doing. If they respond they'll likely give you some requirements that you'll have to fulfill to prove that you are who you say you are, and that the other person is indeed impersonating you and not just another person who happens to have the same name.

"... often just ignoring the fake account is the best way to go."

I don't expect either to be particularly easy, but of all the remedies I'm about to review this is the easiest, by far, short of ignoring the problem.

Unfortunately, I think there's a high likelihood that they will not respond at all.

Legal Notices

If you can afford it, hiring a lawyer is perhaps the most effective way to get the issue resolved. Not only might your impersonator pay more attention to a legal challenge, these types of legal issues are also more likely to get the attention of the service's customer support and legal departments as well.

Exactly how this might work, what it'll cost, and how successful it will be will vary based on your specific circumstance.

As will the whole "is it worth it?" decision.

Law Enforcement

If your impersonator is clearly violating the law, and in particular if he or she is using your fake profile to violate the law, it's worth contacting law enforcement. Depending on the specifics of where you live as well as the resources and technological expertise of your available law enforcement agencies this can be effective.

Unfortunately, it's my expectation that unless something very serious is happening law enforcement agencies will typically be too overwhelmed with other issues and thus may not prioritize your situation sufficiently.

Compete

Sometimes it might be enough to set up a profile on the same service explicitly stating (and somehow proving) that you are who you say you are, and that the other profile is not.

Depending on what kind of "trouble" you're in, this might be worth doing regardless of any additional steps you take. This lets you stake out your position and true identity.

It's a technique I see many celebrities using on services like Twitter (which also has the "verified" status - reinforcing that contacting the service is something you absolutely should do).

Ignore

Sometimes the pragmatic chances of actually getting things resolved the way you might want are so small that it's simply not worth the effort.

I obviously don't know what you mean by "I'm in a great trouble.", but if that's perhaps an overstatement born out of panic, or trouble that could be addressed some other way, often just ignoring the fake account is the best way to go.

Eventually either the imposter will get bored and leave, or do something that finally gets the service's - or law enforcement's - attention.

Article C4373 - July 15, 2010 « »

Share this article with your friends:

Share this article on Facebook Tweet this article Email a link to this article
Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

6 Comments
Alan Newble
July 20, 2010 10:30 AM

Social media are dodgy. They want your info. to sell to advertisers and others, and don't much care how they get it. You don't need them. Get out.

johnpro2
July 20, 2010 3:49 PM

If the usage appears to be of a social nature, it would be a fair wager that the person knows you and is trying to cause you mischief ..possibly because of a love,friendship or financial disagreement.The bad guys don't have time to mess at a social level for long.

Jp

Margaret Louk
July 20, 2010 3:56 PM

Somebody set up a fake My Space page on us once. They had my husbands work pic, and put a lot of incorrect info in it. I contacted My Space and because he worked for a school went thru that process and they eliminated the account and assured us it would not happen again.

Norman Ganancial
July 23, 2010 12:12 AM

Don't be bothered about that fake account or impostor it makes you popular. The problem is the law to regulate those social media network. Their is no proper regulations or system program to avoid those fake accounts or members. Social media are just competing and claiming number 1. if they can have bigger number of members. Not knowing that some members are using several accounts and names. That's why terrorists can easily communicate with their comrades across the globe.

So I would like to suggest to all social media to require all their members to post their image in their account as basic requirement to continue their membership even those existing members. But the picture or image should be taken live by a webcam to avoid of using again a fake image.

Adrian
July 23, 2010 5:19 PM

All I can say is Good Luck. One of my daughters lost her FB password, and no longer has the original email account she used to start it. She contacted them, and they basically said tough luck. She started another profile, and uses that these days. So even taking down one that you created your self is a near impossibility.

Maddie
July 29, 2010 4:10 PM

Report it to the head of the media site.
Don't bother going through the "report it" system. It basically does nothing.
CALL the site.
Look up the 1-800 number and do it.
Here are some popular ones:
Myspace- 310-969-7400
Facebook- 650-543-4800
Myyearbook- +1.215.862.1162

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.