How to stop harassing emails

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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.

Contact the person's e-mail provider if you receive another e-mail after your demand to cease. Explain that you feel the person's e-mails are harassing, and request that his account be suspended. Cut and paste a sample of a harassing e-mail that you received and tell the email provider how many similar e-mails you have received in the past week (or month). When an e-mail account is opened, there are terms of use that are agreed to, and non-harassment is one of them. The email provider will investigate and close down the person's account when your complaint has been found to be valid.

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.


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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About the Author

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.