How to legally stop harassing emails

Written by robin reichert
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How to legally stop harassing emails
Legal options are availabe to cease harassing e-mails. (John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Harassing e-mails are not advertisements or invitations to claim a free computer. Harassing e-mails are from a friend, acquaintance, estranged spouse or partner or another person with a personal vendetta against you. Harassing e-mails are intended to cause alarm, stress, intimidation and often contain abusive language. A person sending harassing e-mails may even threaten you, but you can take steps to legally stop harassing e-mails.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Internet access
  • E-mail address
  • Printer

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Reply to the email with a request that the sender stop harassing you. Request that the sender immediately stop sending e-mails to your account, and explain that any continued communication is harassment. Do not respond to subsequent e-mails. Print a hard copy of all e-mails, including your reply and request to cease harassment.

  2. 2

    Contact the sender's e-mail provider if the person continues to send harrassing e-mails. Locate the email provider by the Internet address following the "@" symbol in the email address. Type "www." in the Internet browser, followed by the email provider's name, and then ".com". Once on their website, click on the provider's "help" or "contact" link to report the sender as using their service to send harassing e-mails.

  3. 3

    Block the sender's e-mail address to prevent them from sending harassing e-mails to your account. Change your e-mail address and close the account that is receiving the harassing e-mails if the sender keeps opening new e-mail accounts to harass you. Consult an attorney about seeking a restraining order from a court if the person lives nearby. File a police report if the sender makes a threat to harm you.

Tips and warnings

  • Be proactive and take steps immediately to stop e-mail harassment.
  • Remove your e-mail address from public view on web pages and social networking sites.
  • Do not reveal personal information online, such as your home address and telephone number.
  • Do not reply to harassing e-mails after you request the sender to stop.
  • Do not engage in harassment yourself by replying to harassing e-mails with insults, threats, curses or other inappropriate behaviour.

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