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What legal steps can I take against cyber-stalking/harassment and hacking?

Seattle, WA |

My girlfriend's ex-boyfriend is a computer programmer, and has himself claimed he's "good at this" sort of thing (getting around internet security) has recently hacked into several email accounts (including our joint account) and her social media accounts as well such as facebook, twitter, instagram etc.
He has also hacked into her friend's Skype account and doctored a conversation between them and forwarded it to me to indicate infidelity. He's open about taking control of these accounts to me, and has even done so in the past. I want this to stop, and I'm contemplating filing a complaint with the IC3, but I was wondering if they'd bother helping, or if we'll have to deal with this for as long as he feels we should?

Thank you all in advance.
(If it matters, he lives in Georgia)

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Attorney answers 6

Best Answer

Report him and his activity to the police. Bring some relevant evidence with you to support your claims, such as e-mails, web postings, etc. OR, hire an attorney to send a cease & desist letter to him. I'd try the police first. Good luck.

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Thank you for the quick response. My only question to follow up is whether or not the fact that he lives in a different state might matter to local police?

Eugene P. Castagliuolo

Eugene P. Castagliuolo


Let the police worry about it, the jurisdictional issue is their problem, not yours. Bring it to them and suggest to them (if they don't offer it themselves) that perhaps they can pick up the phone and call the police in your ex's jurisdiction. The police there can then respectfully suggest to your ex that he stop harassing people long distance. Good luck!



Thank you very much sir. Needless to say I'm beyond thankful for the help with this as it's somewhat frightening how much of her accounts he's managed to get into.


I would start with the police. Hopefully you have some proof that you can show them so they know what type of person they are dealing with.

Good luck.

DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.


Yes involve the police


Did he really get access to the accounts or just fake you out with an image or doctored transcript?

If he did actually gain access to the accounts, he did not "hack" facebook. While it isn't completely impossible ... it is impossible.
He was able to access her accounts because either
1. He either knows all her passwords
2. guessed them
3. She saved her passwords on his computer when she used it to login.
4. He has a keyboard logger installed on the computer your girlfriend uses. A keyboard logger records activity on a computer and then emails the activity to someone.

The solution is - change all the passwords on a computer other than her own, DO NOT log into anything on her computer until it is scanned for malware or re-imaged. Just turn it off and don't touch it.

2. Give the police the opportunity to look at the computer for malware. After they look at it bring your girlfriend's computer to a computer technician and have them re-image the operating system. If you have a really competent computer technician they can try cleaning it, but if a big box store like best buy is your only option, re-image.

Save everything important like homework and pictures before you re-image the OS because you will loose everything, but that is the only way to reliably get rid of malware.



It started with a screenshot of a Skype log, and then a text version of a Skype log, to which he said that her friend needed better security. After that, he actually told me that he took her accounts away from her, and gave me links to some of them as well as the changed passwords. He made updates to her statuses and also messaged some of her friends, pretending to be her. All of 1-4 sound plausible. I'm not a tech person. He's a software programmer who is self-employed and helped implement systems for a correctional facility in his state as part of his job from what I know. Thank you for your advice on the computer side of things.


Call the police to report.


The law is on your side and you have many remedies for his many types of misconduct. You might even have a criminal black mail complaint against him.

The cheapest way to start would be to have a lawyer send the Ex a cease and desist letter. While it has no legal force on its own, it could scare the ex in to stopping.

I suggest you start by consulting with a knowledgeable attorney. Most lawyers on Avvo, including myself, offer a free phone consultation.
Andrew M. Jaffe
Attorney at Law
Practice Limited to E-Commerce and Internet Law

This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.

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