Help! Someone Is Impersonating Me On Social Media: How To Report An Imposter

How To Report An Imposter

At one time or another most businesses will have to deal with someone defaming their company online… bad reviews, a scathing blog article, a nasty tweet or an angry Facebook comment. What could be worse? I’ll tell you what, someone impersonating you or your company online.

Celebrities have had to deal with it. Just Google “fake twitter accounts” and you’ll find tons. There’s even articles with lists of “the best fake Twitter accounts to follow.” Take for example this list.

One of the more famous accounts sprung up after the BP oil spill in 2010. The account @BPglobalPR amassed over 150,000 followers to date. Update, it looks like the account has been locked down and all tweets have been deleted. It currently has only 34 visible followers.

Many of these accounts are known imposters and not taken seriously; that doesn’t mean their effects aren’t damaging. On the other hand, some accounts are passed off as the actual company. These accounts can cause serious harm to your business, they can show up in search results, be shared on social media and even lead to losing potential and existing customers. Imposter Facebook and Twitter accounts are against both sites’ policies. If you have fallen victim to such actions, here are some practical tips for removing imposter accounts.

Also on TechWyse:

How Google’s New Privacy Policy Will Affect Search

Facebook

There are two ways a person can impersonate you on Facebook. By creating a personal profile or a Page. The route for removing fake personal profiles is fairly clear. Pages can also be reported, but if you’re logged into Facebook there’s no dropdown menu for “this page is impersonating me.” Luckily, I’ve found the link where you can report a page or a profile to Facebook. Simply visit this page (make sure you’re logged out of Facebook):

http://www.facebook.com/help/contact/?id=169486816475808

A few things you’ll need to know before you visit this page and fill out the form.

You must “attach a picture of a government-issued ID of the person being impersonated (ex: your ID or the ID of the person you’re authorized to represent). Cover up any personal information (ex: address, license number) that we don’t need to confirm your identity.

The ID you provide:

  • Must be government-issued (ex: passport, driver’s license)
  • Must be in color
  • Must clearly show the full name, date of birth, and photo”

Here’s a really simple tool that will allow you to redact certain irrelevant info from your government issued identification:
http://pixlr.com/editor/

Simply upload a picture of your ID and draw black rectangles over irrelevant personal info like your address, license number, etc.

Twitter

Twitter’s impersonation policies are not as cut and dry. For example, Twitter has a “parody policy” that allows parody accounts. You can visit this link for all the details.

The opening paragraph reads: “Twitter users are allowed to create parody, commentary, or fan accounts (including role-playing). Twitter provides a platform for its users to share and receive a wide range of ideas and content, and we greatly value and respect our users’ expression. Because of these principles, we do not actively monitor users’ content and will not edit or remove user content, except in cases of violations of our Terms of Service.”

If you feel that your case does not qualify as a parody account, but indeed and impersonation, you can file an official impersonation complaint with Twitter.

Whether it’s on Facebook or on Twitter, you’re able to report impersonation if you are indeed the person being impersonated or if you are legally allowed to act on the person’s behalf e.g. a parent of the victim, or even legal council.

In conclusion

Give your impersonation report a bit of time. Facebook and Twitter receives hundreds of reports a day. A little bit of patience will benefit you when it comes time for them to evaluate your case.

Please feel free to connect with me on social media @strategyinventr or leave a comment below!

Post By Steve Toth (120 Posts)

Steve is an industry recognized SEO expert who has been published in Moz. He is an audiophile and loves all things internet marketing. Steve enjoys working on the conceptual side of SEO.

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33 Comments

  • avatar

    hi im being impersonated on twitter i have asked twitter to suspend the account indefinetly ive reported the account more than 100 times and nothing is being done this is a the fake account
    https://twitter.com/KimmyTornado i want some one to hack that twitter account i posted NOW

  • avatar
    Debbie Nelson 

    on 

    There is someone impersonating my daughter on Twitter. My daughter is not on Twitter, but is on FB, Instagram, snap chat and others. This other person is using my daughter’s pictures and the name Ashley Armold. Is there anything we can do? I do have a Twitter account, but don’t know what user name “Ashley ” is operating under. Thanks for any advice!!
    Debbie

  • avatar

    How do I report that someone is impersonating me on snap chat if I don’t have a user name? I have been impersonated, but I don’t have snap chat

  • avatar

    Good article — I hope you can help point me in the right direction. Someone impersonating me set up a LinkedIn account — I contacted them and they shut it down. BUT that person’s photo is still showing up in a Google search of my name. How do I get her photo OFF those Google search results so she (or whoever is using her photo) won’t be encouraged to branch out again on other social media.

  • avatar
    Anna Ramos 

    on 

    I had a friend who asked for help to report a certain account that’s been impersonating her or rather stealing her photos and claiming them as hers. She asked her friends to report that account. But this ones persistent, I must say! After being reported and deleted from Facebook, the impersonator/photo stealer makes another account. That one, I believe, made 3 accounts before she finally stopped. She was using this account to chat with foreigners and asking them to send her money.

  • avatar

    oh gosh where do I start! So there is this crazy psycho lady who is obverse with me. To make a very long story short, she is now making all kinds of accounts in my name. Facebook, MULTIPLE Google plus accounts, Twitter,,Pinterest ,gmail, and other email addresses. I have filed a police report and filed a false acct with facebook . Oh and also she has MULTIPLE accounts in her name with my info for Facebook,Google plus, and Twitter. I am seriously on the verge of losing my cool and snapping. Does anyone have any good information or websites I can use to report this? As far as I’m concerned it’s identity theft! Thanks guys!

  • avatar

    I am so glad to know that I am not alone. Supposedly, the impersonation has been going on for years. It was used to reduce my credibility among the community and others. To ruin my reputation and life opportunities. It did not work. God is in control of everything; even the impersonators. I am much older than you guys so I did not even know about it because I am not social media savy. It took a cousin of mine to suggest how badly things were for me out there. Sadly, there are acquaintances that know about this and they won’t even bother to tell me where they saw it. I and my children have all been blocked. I have faith that it will work out.

  • avatar

    How long does it take for them to remove these fake accounts?
    Someone had been impersonating me on twitter. I reported to twitter and they sent an email asking me to upload my id. I did it two days ago. Still that account is up. It’s really frustrating how low people can be. IMO they should request for identification at the time of creating the account. If you do that most of the innocent people can be saved from this unnecessary trouble.

  • avatar

    Someone has been impersonating me on IMDB is there any way i report their page or have them removed?

  • avatar
    christinamariee1116@gmail.com 

    on 

    Thanks i am going to try and follow the link that you have given for Facebook and hopefully it will work. I have tried reporting it to Facebook yet nothing could be done about it and i kind of gave up. Im thinking it is a ex however there really is no way of proving anything and at this point all i want is it down.

  • avatar

    Someone was impersonating me on Blogspot. However, reporting abuse did not lead to anything at all. What else can I do to have the blog removed?

  • avatar

    It’s sick that people are actually doing this. Impersonating somebody should be a criminal offense IMO, because it can lead to a lot of psychological damage and pain for the person being impersonated and their friends.

    • avatar

      Yeah my girlfriend has stopped speaking to me. A faker insulted her page as being me. I’m at work or sleeping during the times it happened. She got fired from her job she doesn’t believe me

    • avatar

      It’s pretty awful. I hope this post helps people who’ve found themselves in this predicament.

  • avatar

    Yeah,the fake accounts have been rampant as long as I can remember. I remember back in the Myspace days,there were fake celebrity accounts all over the place. It was almost impossible to tell the fake from the real. Im not really surprised it’s going on with Twitter and Facebook. Ive never had it happen to me,thank goodness.

    • avatar

      Being on social media carries risks and impersonation is one of them. One of the best ways to combat against this is to keep your profile private and only connect with people you know and trust.

  • avatar

    Hi all!
    3 weeks ago my friend found a fake Facebook profile that passes through her. He denounced correctly selecting the option: “This account is passed through me.” Then between your contacts and I helped to denounce the bill stating that “the bill is being passed by an acquaintance.”
    I was reading in the help section on Facebook, that if a person made ??a fake account and does not use Facebook account, you can report it by sending a copy of your ID.
    In this case if Facebook does nothing to remove the fake profile, can use this option if you use Facebook account?
    Is the risk that Facebook will delete your personal account?
    Please, help me

  • avatar

    With the amount of fake accounts out there, it’s a little surprising to know it’s against the rules. It makes sense, of course, but there are tons, especially on Twitter. I wonder if saying “this is not XXXX” in the fine print can make a difference… Hm.

  • avatar
    toughtrasher 

    on 

    Wow, this post seems like it was tailor-made only for me! Perfect timing as I just found out a scam company took my information on Facebook and began impersonating as me on a different profile. My friends reported it and now I’m on the verification process for my identity.
    Thanks, hopefully I will get that fake profile deleted soon and my ID is back safely with me.

  • avatar
    vida_llevares 

    on 

    Indeed, we should learn when to draw the line between interacting with other people through social media and protecting our own identity. We should always bear in mind that internet does not have any expiration date. Once you place any information about yourself in the internet, you can no longer control it.

  • avatar

    Yes, unfortunately it happens. I heard it before from others as well. It’s so easy to make an account and pretend to be someone. Sometimes it starts off rather ‘innocent’, like teenagers just doing it to get attention or as part of bullying (which should be condemned at all times in my opinion), and gets worse. Nowadays, some people think they are allowed to do anything online just because they have the opportunity.

  • avatar

    This happened to a friend of mine, it took quite some time to resolve but eventually it was fixed. There was a lot of negative commenting going on towards the person as well and I’m not sure how Facebook dealt with it, but it was really sad to see someone sink so low to do this to someone.

    • avatar

      My story affected my relationship and her job. Someone hacked into my account several times and went into her page posting rude childish things. She’s a teacher and connects with her students in her fb. She got a write up and leave st her job. Then my page kept showing pictures of workout excercises. I told her it wasn’t me.im at work during those times I’m busy with work. It hurt me

  • avatar
    moniqueseibel 

    on 

    I can’t believe people go to such great lengths to impersonate a person. But unfortunately, since this does occur, this is a very useful article.

  • avatar

    I never really thought of it, but it wouldn’t be that hard for someone who knew you and had a digital picture of you to take that picture and with a little personal information which they know about you anyway and make up a fake account. If the people who did these kind of things would take all their energy and project it to something positive, they could probably be quite successful. Instead they squander their time on negative projects. Too bad.

  • avatar

    With the way Google now seems to weigh social media profiles in their determination of rankings and site authority, I would be willing to bet we’ll see a rise in these phony accounts. Right now, Google has created an atmosphere where it is easy to damage someone’s business and this could play right into that.

  • avatar

    One of my friends had a pretty bad experience with this, on Facebook. Someone kept making an account, used my friend’s pictures and sent messages to guys. She wasn’t aware of what she could do, but I helped her out a bit. It took very long before she got a response. The profile was around for a few more weeks. Then it disappeared, then another one popped up. After a second complaint, it stopped. She had to confirm ID but didn’t get such helpful replies first.
    It’s horrible what people can do, and because Facebook has become so big, it takes time to take action to fix it.

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