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What should I do if someone is pretending to be me online?

As always, prevention is better than cure so follow these top tips to minimise the risk of this happening to you:

Check the privacy settings on your account - what’s publicly viewable? Remember any content you post publicly on social media sites can easily be used and shared by other members of the public.
Remember most sites give you the option to review new followers or friends before adding them. This feature helps you to minimise
contact from people you don’t know.
Think about your audience and what you’re sharing on social
media. Once something is posted online, it can remain there forever.

In particular this seems to be happening on Instagram a lot at the moment, so what if it’s already too late and this has happened to you?

Well for starters you can report the user using the site’s impersonation reporting routes.
If there are any pictures using your / your school
s personal information without your permission, you should report this content to the site using the intellectual property theft reporting routes.

Block people who are engaging in this behaviour and remember to let your friends on the sites you use know this has happened so that they can ignore any suspicious contact requests.
If you’re a child or young person who needs some support, maybe a friend or adult you trust can help you.

If you work with children or young people and need some more support, don’t hesitate to ring us: 0844 381 4772 or email: You can also follow us on Twitter @UK_SIChelpline