Anyone who’s active on social media will tell you there are some unkind people out there. Commonly referred to as ‘trolls’, this unorganised but strangely strategic group of Internet users can target anyone from celebrities to the everyday person. Sometimes, they even adopt personas and identities to undertake their work. But does this count as fraud?

Publishing opinion or even work online opens Internet users up to a world of criticism and deception. On platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, the backlash can be unkind at best and criminally aggressive at worst. Many have dubbed this viral bullying as unacceptable and called for platform providers and the government to take action.

In a recent case of trolling and online abuse, local Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price received a lot of negative attention following comments about car cruising in Lakeside. Under the banner of a personal account named ‘Lakeside Cruising’ on Facebook, Ms Doyle-Price was called a ‘slag’ and even threatened with murder. As many of the comments came from anonymous users, in this instance fraud isn’t an accurate term to be applied. However, mock and fake accounts could be deemed ‘misguiding’, says a Twitter representative.

How we can help in cases of trolling and online fraud

So, if you find yourself a victim of trolling, what can you do? Police suggest you report the incident to the website owner, but further measures can be implemented with the help of Starlight Investigations. Our fraud unit will happily investigate any instance of online deception, while our polygraph test could also come in handy if you think the abuse is personal.

Find out more about our fraud services here.