Woman feels 'violated' after her identity is stolen by thieves using simple trick

News: Woman speaks of terror after being victim of year-long campaign of online harassment

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

A woman has spoken of how she endured a an almost year-long nightmare as she was subjected to a campaign of harassment online.

The victim, who has asked to remain anonymous, said the nightmare began after she set up a petition asking for accountability inside the NHS in November 2015.

From the moment the petition was set up, until September 2016, the victim received nearly 500 abusive messages from a woman claiming to be from Warwickshire.

However, it would later turn out her abuser was hiding her identity and was subjecting her to a vicious campaign of harassment from a Lincolnshire town.

“I had a petition open and I began to notice some comments were quite nasty to me,” the victim said. “Then they began to increase in frequency. Initially I began deleting them but then they start reappearing.

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“A lot of them were just repeating over and over again. I had got around 500 comments in total.”

The messages, which were sent by someone claiming to be Helen from Wawrickshire, contained accusations that the victim was a murderer and was not allowed to look after animals. 

In one message the harasser called the victim an “awful, terrible, projecting, vindictive, short sighted, selfish, deflecting, bitter, twisted has been of a woman”. 

The victim said she asked the anonymous person why they were doing it but they didn’t provide an explanation.

“They said ‘I’m never going to stop’,” she said. “They were so vitriolic. I took it to the police, they said nobody of that name lived at that residence and the comments didn’t stop.

(Image: Anonymous)

“It was awful, they were appearing at all hours of the day. I was stressed all the time. Her actions left me feeling scared, intimidated and abused – I did not know what she might be capable of next and I live on my own in a secluded area.”

In an attempt to stop the abuse, the victim went through a costly process to uncover her harasser’s IP address, which helped her narrow her search down to the town of Wragby, near Market Rasen.

It was there she found her abuser, someone she had never even met.

She took the online troll to court in October 2018 where a judge awarded her £750 in damages under the Protection of Harassment Act 1997.

However, the victim then appealed this, and on appeal was awarded £13,500 in damages, as well as £6,000 in costs for the appeal.

For the victim though, the situation has left her mentally scarred and in a high amount of debt.

“It has been horrendous,” she said. “She did it thinking she could get away with it using her anonymity, but you’re still accountable to your actions, even online.

“I’m not rich, I’ve had to incur a lot of debt to get this judgement. I’m £40,000 out of pocket for all the money I’ve spent chasing this down, I can’t just let it go. It’s a huge amount of money to anyone.”

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