Report the accounts
All social media sites, as well as YouTube provide clear paths for reporting impersonated accounts/accounts set up in your name.
The quicker you do this, the quicker the process to have the accounts taken down or deleted can begin.
Check out the icons below for more information on how to do this on the different platforms
Contact Netsafe for support
If you need help, advice or support with any kind of online issue, Netsafe can help.
They are a non-profit organisation with a helpline set up to help people with online safety and online issues.
If if someone is pretending to be you in a way that is causing you harm, for example, making sexually explicit or controversial posts that could damage your job or relationships, they can offer information and advice.
Netsafe have years of experience in helping young people deal with harm online, their service is free and confidential.
Find out more by visiting their website or checking out the services section.
Let your friends know
Think about making a public post letting people in your life know that someone is pretending to be you.
This gives them a heads up not to accept friend requests or to be wary of communication or posts that seem a bit out of the ordinary.
They can also report accounts or posts directly to the platform or let you know about any communication they have had that you can then report.
You might also let them know that you will not be posting until the accounts have been taken down to avoid any confusion. Keep in contact using text messages or other more private forms of communication.
Take a break
It could be a good idea to take a break from Social Media to give you some space from the confusion and drama.
Spend time in person with people you care about doing things you enjoy.
Check your privacy settings
How much personal information do you have publicly available?
The more there is out there, the easier it is for people to impersonate you and for that to move into the potential for identity theft or fraud.
Changing your settings so that your photos and private information is only able to be seen by friends can give you some protection (but not always).
Check the TAKING CHARGE section for how to do this.
Understand the difference between Impersonation and Fraud
Someone pretending to be you or using your private information is not against the law in NZ unless they do so for financial gain, it then becomes fraud.