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Patrick, Esq.
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Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My employer and fello colleagues have been getting abusive

Resolved Question:

My employer and fello colleagues have been getting abusive and sexual impersoenation mail by someone posing as me. What should I do? What type of lawyer or Priviate investigator should I seek, if any?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

The first thing that someone in this circumstance should typically do is inform their employer that they are NOT the author of these messages. This may sound obviously, but it's necessary so that you are not falsely accused of sexual harassment in the workplace.

In regard to ensuring that these messages stop, that may be difficult to do if the person sending these messages is not actually using your account (if they were using your account, you could simply change passwords or accounts).

The first thing you should do is advise your co-workers to mark these messages as spam and set up an email filter so that they no longer receive the messages in their new mail.

If you are interested in actually tracking this person down, the first thing you would need to do is obtain the IP address from which the emails originate.

If you are not very familiar with computers, an IP address is essentially the identifying number of the web server that a computer user uses to connect to the internet. It can be used to track the location of a computer user, and in many cases their actual identity (though you typically need to subpoena the latter information from the web service provider). For instructions on how to obtain someone's IP address from an email (which I assume you've received from this person) visit this link:

Once you have the IP address, you can check where it has originated from using one of several IP address identifying websites, such as

You should refer the IP address and any other relevant information to local law enforcement for investigation. This is cyber harassment, and law enforcement can take this very seriously, depending on the specific nature of the emails.
You should also report this harassment to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a division of the FBI, at the following address:

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

My greatest concern is that you are satisfied with the answer I provide, so please do not hesitate to contact me with follow-up questions. Although I cannot always provide good news, I hope that my answer gives you a better understanding of the law and your rights so that you can obtain the best possible result under the circumstances. Also, please bear in mind that experts are not credited for unaccepted answers, so I greatly appreciate you taking the time to "accept" my answer and leave positive feedback.

Finally, none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Sorry for that typo in my first paragraph. It may sound *obvious* but it is necessary . . .
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


thank you. There is also Blogs posted on the internet posing as me and the stuff written is discusting and sexual in nature. I have filed a complaint with the local Sheriff department, but seemed all they did was take information and filed the complaint. My employer is getting mail at his personal home as well as sent to his ex-wife. Should my employer take action to this action to this? Is there a PI that can be hired to assist?

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.

Most websites will take down material that is clearly defamatory (as is any post from someone claiming to be you who is not) if you write the website and request that the offending posts be removed. Once of a website is on notice that it is hosting defamatory content, it can under certain circumstances be held liable for that content if it keeps it available in reckless disregard of its falsity.

Most websites have a "contact" page where you can get a hold of the webmaster to make this sort of request. If no contact info is available, you can obtain the website administrator's contact information by looking up the domain registry for the website through a domain registry database such as this one:

Simply use the provided search field and search the part of the domain (leaving out "http://"). This will give you the website registration details, which usually includes contact information.

You may also wish to seek the services of an online reputation management service, such as Reputation Defender: They will do this work on your behalf and ensure that all derogatory postings about you are removed to the extent permitted by law.

A service such as reputation defender would likely do more for you than simply hiring a private investigator. However, if you are interested in finding a private investigator, this is where you would want to go to start that process:

Unfortunately, your employer is under no obligation to prevent this from occuring unless the perpetrator is a fellow employee.

Again, my number one goal is that you are satisfied with my answer. If you are, I would greatly appreciate your "accept." If you still require further clarification, I am happy to continue assisting you.
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