When someone uses your e-mail account to harass you, it might fall into the category of stalking. Unlike spam e-mails that deluge your inbox with offers of super diets and riches from Nigeria, harassing e-mails are often from an estranged friend or acquaintance and at best are a form of bullying. If you dread opening your e-mail for fear of the next attack of hateful or threatening e-mails, there are specific steps you can take to eliminate the problem before it escalates.
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Send one reply to the person who is harassing you, saying in a firm tone that this reply constitutes an order to cease and desist. Tell them that you consider their attacks to be harassing, threatening and libellous and they are not to contact you again.
Print copies of the harassing e-mails and take them to your local police department. Explain that you feel threatened by the person and ask that your complaint be put on record.
Consider filing a restraint order. If the person harassing you lives in the same town, county or state, you might have legal options to get them to stop.
Tips and warnings
- Refrain form answering anything personal that the person has written in the harassing e-mail. Any response other than an order to cease will encourage them to continue the e-mails.
- If the person harassing you is a fellow student or minor, consider taking copies or the e-mails to your school. All grade and high schools and most colleges have cyber-stalking rules.
- Threatening e-mails can escalate to personal attacks.
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