They say copying someone is one of the sincerest forms of flattery. But do it online and you might find yourself facing a trial.
Generally, the act of impersonating another person is not likely to be considered unlawful, unless the situation calls for a legal action. For example, when you impersonate a police officer, you might find yourself spending well-deserved jail time. It is not unlawful to assume someone’s identity per se, but impersonating another without committing civil or criminal offense is impossible.
Online Impersonation: The New Identity Theft
Online impersonation occurs when you use another person’s name to create social media accounts, send an email, post content, or contact other users. Since online platforms cannot thoroughly verify information, people can easily create an account under another identity.
This new form of identity theft is a powerful tool in harassing and damaging the reputation of other people. Accounts made under other identities can be used for cases of cyberbullying and extortion.
On the Issue of Privacy and Defamation
When impersonation occurs, there will certainly be false information and statements. Copying someone online becomes unlawful when you use these accounts to defame or breach a user’s privacy. In terms of privacy, when an impersonator communicates with others for personal information, it falls under the offenses of the Texas Online Impersonation statute.
Cases of Fraud and Deceit
Dntriallaw.com includes fraud and deceit under unlawful impersonation. When you use the identity of another to obtain money, services, or goods, you can face prosecution for fraud and other similar types of offences.
In the case of deceit, a civil case occurs when a person makes a false statement, despite his knowledge of the truth. If there is an intention to deceive or if one relies on the deceit for the other party to suffer loss, it is also a case of unlawful impersonation.
Online impersonation can be a form of flattery if it is done with the concerned individual’s consent. Done otherwise, you might end up as the online doppelganger in jail.