We all know the dangers of cyber harassment and its potential to damage our reputation and mental health. But how do you go about reporting this kind of behavior? Knowing what steps to take can help protect yourself and ensure the offending party is held responsible. Let’s take a look at who handles cases of cyber harassment and where you can go to report it.
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Can I Report Online Harassment to the FBI?
In short, the FBI only deals with cybercrimes that have to deal with scams and fraud. Online harassment is, in fact, a crime; however, it is not classified as a massive threat enough for the FBI to get involved. Per the FBI, you should only report cyber incidents that affect the following:
- May impact national security, economic security, or public health and safety.
- Affects core government or critical infrastructure functions.
- Results in a significant loss of data, system availability, or control of systems.
- Involves a large number of victims.
- Indicated unauthorized access to, or malicious software present on, critical information systems.
- Violates federal or SLTT law.
Instead, you can report online harassment to your local authorities and private investigators like us here at Digital Investigation. Make sure you have documentation of the harassment, including names, emails, numbers, etc. In cases of online harassment where the harasser’s identity is hidden, you should contact expert cyber investigators. Their technology and knowledge enable them to uncover hidden online identities.
How Do I Report Cyber Harassment in the US?
Although it’s hard to deal with cyber harassment, luckily, it’s easy to report online abuse. Victims should first report the harassment on the platform it has taken place. The majority, if not all, online forums have community guidelines that prohibit harassment and provide a space for reporting abusive behavior.
To report cyber harassment to your local authorities, be sure to have proof of the cyber harassment and do a quick Google search of your local police station. Explain your story to an officer, and they will provide you with the next steps.
Lastly, to report cyber harassment to a cyber investigator, research any local or well-reviewed companies specializing in these cases. To report cyber harassment to us here at Digital Investigation, you can chat with one of our online representatives or call us to get a case started.
Who Investigates Cyber Harassment?
The answer to this question largely depends on where cyberstalking is taking place. Generally speaking, the police department in the jurisdiction where cyberstalking occurs will be responsible for investigating
the crime. This may be a local police department, a state police department, or even a federal law enforcement agency like the FBI.
In addition to law enforcement agencies, other organizations may also be involved in investigating cyberstalking. These organizations may include local or state prosecutors, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
It is important to note that many of these organizations may not have the authority to prosecute cyberstalking cases. However, they can provide valuable assistance to law enforcement by collecting evidence, providing technical assistance, and helping to build a lawsuit against the person responsible.
If you or someone you know is a victim of cyberstalking, it is essential to contact the police or other appropriate authority immediately. Do not wait to report the crime, as cyberstalking is a serious offense with devastating emotional and financial consequences. In addition, cyberstalking victims should also consider obtaining legal advice from an attorney familiar with cyberstalking cases.