What to do if someone impersonates me online
In the age of technology and widespread abundance of social media platforms, it is inevitable that there will be mischief-makers taking advantage of technology to suit their own nefarious needs. Some traverse the internet, pretending to be another person online. What do you do if you end up as a victim of such pretenders?
If you ever come across someone on Facebook or other online services pretending to be you or someone you know, you should first make a report to Facebook or the relevant service provider. (Please do check that it is not a rashly concocted birthday prank beforehand.)
After determining that the impersonation is not a prank, you should lodge a police report. The perpetrator may then be charged for cheating by personation under section 416 of the Penal Code, where cheating is defined by section 415 of the Penal Code as an activity which:
“fraudulently or dishonestly induces the person so deceived to deliver any property to any person, or to consent that any person shall retain any property, or intentionally induces the person so deceived to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit to do if he were not so deceived, and which act or omission causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to any person in body, mind, reputation or property”
Thus if Farid, pretending to be Ahmad, induces Tricia, Ahmad’s girlfriend, to transfer $10 to his DBS account, he may become guilty of such a crime.
It does not matter whether the person being impersonated is a real or fictitious person. The impersonator may be punishable with an imprisonment up to 5 years, or a fine, or both, as stipulated under section 419 of the Penal Code.
Depending on the severity of the communication by the impersonator to the victim, he may also be charged for criminal defamation under section 499 of the Penal Code. Any word or communication, published, written, electronic or media, that lowers the perceived moral or intellectual character of the victim, may render the accused liable for criminal defamation. Civil defamation suits may also be filed if the victim intends to seek compensation.
- Police Investigation Process in Singapore
- When Can the Police Arrest Someone?: Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
- Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
- Can a civilian arrest a criminal in Singapore?
- Is lying to the police or authorities a punishable offence in Singapore?
- Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
- What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
- Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
- Criminal Compensation in Singapore
- What Can I Do to Protect Myself in Self-Defence in Singapore?
- Claiming trial as an accused
- Mitigation Plea
- Pleading Guilty
- Criminal Appeals in Singapore
- Presidential Clemency in Singapore
- Probation in Singapore: Are You Eligible? Will You Have a Criminal Record?
- What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
- Reformative Training in Singapore: When will it be Ordered?
- Visiting a Loved One in Prison (And on Death Row) in Singapore
- Is it illegal to visit prostitutes in Singapore?
- What is the law on pornography in Singapore?
- What are Singapore’s laws on drug consumption?
- When is Gambling Illegal in Singapore?
- Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
- DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
- What is the Legal Drinking Age in Singapore? And Other Drinking-Related Laws
- The Difference Between Murder and Culpable Homicide in Singapore
- Is it illegal to commit suicide in Singapore? Will I be punished if my attempt at suicide fails?
- Is it illegal to feed stray animals in Singapore?
- What are Sham Marriages and are They Illegal in Singapore?
- Public assemblies and processions in Singapore – police permits and the Public Order Act
- What is the offence of Rioting?
- Voluntarily Causing Hurt in Singapore
- Misbehaving in public: 5 things you need to know
- Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
- Guide to E-Scooter/Personal Mobility Device (PMD) Laws in Singapore
- Is Joining a Gang Illegal in Singapore?