impersonation accounts and ensure you are using the correct reporting routes. If an additional account has been created using your exact name and image, but you still do have access to your current account, this is called impersonation or online impersonation and is one of the eight harms we can support you with.
Sometimes, a fake account may also be created to impersonate or target a person. Fake profiles are often created to cause distress, assume a different identity (catfishing) or as a parody. Fake social media accounts are usually in breach of a platform’s terms and conditions and can also be reported.
If your account has been hacked, it is likely that you will be logged out of it and will no longer be able to regain access to it or log back in. This may have been carried out by someone you know; however, it is likely that this is by someone you don’t know via malware (software specifically designed to disrupt, damage or gain unauthorised access to a person’s computer).
You might see an element of fraud-type activity once the account has been hacked. The account may message your friends and family encouraging them to invest money into a bitcoin account, or various spamming deals, they might also upload these messages onto your profile in the hope that people will believe this is you. If this is to happen, we recommend contacting Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 for further support and advice.
If your account is hacked and, as a result, abusive comments are made, this could be a form of malicious communication (communication sent with the intent to cause distress), and these can be reported through us, and to the police on 101.
If someone posts offensive messages because of who you are, or who they think you are, this could be considered hate speech (abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group) and these should be reported to the police as a hate crime. The police can follow guidelines for law enforcement about how to gain evidence from social media to support ongoing investigations.
Find out how to report and recover hacked accounts on commonly used social networking sites below: