By Leo Notenboom
I don’t know what to do but someone has taken my name, set up a new e-mail
account and is sending very nasty e-mails to family members. I’ve contacted
Yahoo! but I don’t know the personal information to get into the account since
I didn’t set it up and they still haven’t contacted me back. I don’t know if
this is a punishable offense and I don’t know how to get Yahoo! to take me
seriously. What should I do?
It’s trivial to set up accounts on the free services in which you can be
anonymous – using entirely fake information – or in which you can impersonate
I’m not sure I’d expect much help from the provider – Yahoo, in your case.
To be honest, even if they did bother to reply, they wouldn’t know who to
believe. You and I know that you’re not, but how’s Yahoo to know that
you’re not the impersonator, or just someone trying to hassle someone
Here’s what I would do…
First, I’d make sure to distinguish it from a form of spam that may also
look like it’s coming from you. This article: Someone’s
sending from my email address! How do I stop them?! covers that
Second, I’d seriously consider whether it was worth doing anything at all.
As we’ll see in a moment, I believe that chances of resolution are actually
pretty small. If you can simply ignore what’s happening, or let your friends
and family know to ignore email from that bogus address, it might be the
simplest solution of all. Basically ignore it, and get on with your life.
I know that’s not always an option.
[This post is excerpted with Leo’s permission from his Ask Leo blog.]
Leo Notenboom has been involved in the tech industry for nearly 30 years. After retiring from an 18 year career as a Microsoft Software Engineer Leo went on to create Ask Leo!, a free web site where he answers real questions from ordinary computer users.
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