Communication is often taken for granted. We are provided with more and more devices to enable dialogue, messages, ideas and information to pass between us, but, how do we deal with people who misuse the technology that is available?
A typical scenario that we encounter is as follows:
Prospective client: “Can you assist to trace the owner of a mobile phone which has been used to send text messages to some of our employees. While the messages are not particularly threatening, they are being sent from an anonymous source. Can you trace the source?”
Prospective answer: “Anyone can go into a shop and buy a sim card for a mobile phone and can, basically, pretend to be who ever they want to be. The principle applies right across social media platforms, and into just about every avenue of communication. To compound the matter, even if we are successful in tracing the subscriber to the number or identify the person operating the account, there is often a second level of confusion, in that, accounts, profiles and identities can be stolen and the faker, fraudster or scam artist can sit behind a further defensive shield. Assuming that the Police have turned down your request to take action, there are actions we can take – involving requests to the airtime suppliers, network operators and the like. This method is actually unlikely to locate the sender of the texts as experience tells us that the sim will be unregistered or the account fake. We have broke a number of cyber-harassment cases by using trap procedures, tracker e-mails and the like, but, our successes are but few compared to the number of cases we reject at an early stage”.
The Crown Prosecution Service has set out the legal framework and remedies available to: Stalking and Harassment, worth a read if you have the time….