Fraud: Fraud claims are premised on the fact that a person knowingly materially represented himself or herself, and a third party then relied on this misrepresentation. The first individual, knowing it was a false representation, intended a third party to rely on it. Some manner of injury to the second or third party must be endured. Material misrepresentation might not be difficult to demonstrate in a relationship created by online impersonation, but the injury may be more difficult to prove. Legal success might be predicated on whether the impersonation was used to obtain money or other items of credit from the victim.
Emotional Distress: If there was no financial or other valuable gain involved, a victim may consider a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Generally, the victim must demonstrate that the impersonator’s behavior resulted in more than severe emotional distress in the victim. That would require showing psychological damage owing to the impersonator’s conduct. Simply following a player with an attractive avatar likely would not meet this condition.
Misappropriation of Likeness: The matter of misappropriation of likeness. The “cute girl or boy” whose picture (or other social media content) is being used may conceivably have a potential claim as an injury. The Digital Media Law Project suggests that, typically, this would require demonstrating that a protected attribute, such as a name or a likeness, has been used. The second test would involve demonstrating the likeness was used for commercial or exploitive purposes. The third test is consent: a plaintiff must demonstrate that she or he did not give permission for the use.
Invasion of Privacy. Finally, another legal theory that might be applied would be that of invasion of privacy. Judicially, privacy is a freedom from the unwarranted appropriation or exploitation of one’s personality, the publicizing of one’s private affairs, or the wrongful intrusion into one’s private activities in such manner as to outrage or cause mental suffering, shame, or humiliation.