What to do if someone’s impersonating you on social media

Social media sites are fun ways to stay in contact with old friends, relatives and colleagues. As in life, though, there are some people who want to cause trouble. Sometimes, they might set up a fake profile which impersonates another user as a prank, or to mock them. If you spot somebody impersonating you on social media and you’re not happy about it, then there are actions you can take.

Do bear in mind that some social networks may not choose to act if the account in question is clearly a parody of someone in the public eye, or makes it clear that it has no affiliation to any other individuals.

Facebook

If you spot somebody using your name, email, organization title and pictures on Facebook, you can report it very easily. Simply visit this page to “report an impostor” and follow the on-screen instructions. You will need to choose from the following options:

  • Someone’s using my email address on their account
  • Someone has created an account for my business or organization
  • Someone has created an account pretending to be me or a friend

The site will then help you to resolve the problem, if necessary deleting the fake account and banning the individual responsible.

Twitter

You can also report an account for impersonating you on Twitter. You can visit the “report a violation” page and tick the appropriate boxes. Options include:

  • An account is pretending to be me or someone I know
  • An account is pretending to be or represent my company, brand or organization
  • My account was suspended
  • I can’t sign in
  • My account has been hacked or compromised
  • Someone is using my email address without my permission

If you follow the on-screen instructions, Twitter will investigate the issue for you.

It’s important to note that Twitter does allow parody or commentary accounts, so the problem account may not fall under its impersonation policy. In addition, if a user shares your name but there are no other commonalities, or the profile clearly states it’s not affiliated with any other individuals with the same name, Twitter will probably choose to leave it be.

Instagram

Instagram will only investigate impersonations if reported by the victim, or a representative of the person who’s being impersonated. It’s not enough just to know the person.

If you’re an Instagram user, you can report an impersonation within the app by clicking the “…” button and then “report”. Then you just need to follow the on-screen instructions.

If you’re not on Instagram, you’ll need to fill out this form with details of the account you believe is impersonating you.

As you can see, it’s very easy to report someone impersonating you on social media. In the unlikely event that it happens to you, just follow the instructions above. And if you’ve got any questions, just post a comment below or tweet to @JustAskGemalto.