Facebook message impersonation
For 7+months now someone has been opening Facebook accounts with my name and harassing my partners ex with mean messages when he goes over to visit his son. I have tried to find all of the profiles and have reported them to Facebook. I’ve also tried deactivating my account and have approached the police.
It has now gotten to the point that my partners ex wants an AVO put out on us as the messages are still occurring.
Is there any way I can prove I am not the one sending the messages or who is doing this?
Hi there. The first thing you should do is continue to report the fake accounts to Facebook. Impersonating other users is a breach of Facebook’s user policy and is therefore likely to result in the closure of the fake accounts. Taking screenshots of the fake accounts may help you prove that your personal details are being used without your permission. Trying to resolve the problem directly with Facebook will be the most straightforward way to address the issue.
In some circumstances, a request can be made to Facebook to obtain data about a particular user, such as the IP address of the person creating the fake accounts. However, this information is very difficult to obtain and is only possible via law enforcement officials (i.e. the police) and in accordance with Facebook’s operational guidelines. Facebook will generally deny a request for this type of data from a private individual such as yourself.
If your partner’s ex applies for an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) from the Local Court, and you do not consent to an order being made, the Magistrate must decide whether there are proper grounds for making the APVO. Your partner’s ex will be required to provide written statements to the court explaining the grounds for the APVO and setting out the evidence against you. A hearing will be held where both you and your partner’s ex can provide the court with additional oral evidence about your case.
For an APVO to be made against you, your partner’s ex would need to provide enough evidence to satisfy the court that there are fears for his safety and those fears are reasonable. In proving that those fears are reasonable, your partner’s ex would need to prove that you are the person sending the harassing messages via Facebook. Your partner’s ex may have difficulty proving that the messages are being sent by you. If the court is not satisfied that his fears are reasonable, an APVO will not be made.
Suggested way forward
The most direct way to resolve this issue is to continue to deal with Facebook until the fake accounts stop sending messages to your partner’s ex. If the matter escalates and an APVO application is made against you, you should speak to a criminal lawyer about your rights and the best course of action. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.