Hard to track harassers

For someone in Brian's situation, catching the people who had been harassing him online may be tough.

Under the Protection from Harassment Act, he would need to file a Magistrate's Complaint at the State Courts.

A mediation session will likely be convened for both parties - Brian and the person who has allegedly harassed him on Facebook, said lawyer S. Balamurugan.

He said: "The borrower must be able to identify the loan shark and the loan shark must be present in court. (Without the loan shark), it's a problem."

But Brian does not know his harassers.

Mr Lam Wai Mun, senior counsellor with Touch Community Services, said social media and mobile technologies can be "double-edged swords" providing extended platforms for criminal activities.

Mr Lam said: "It is difficult to track and identify the actual loan shark who conducted the act... While one impersonated account can be taken down, another can always be set up easily again. Hence, it is important to deal with the root issue of borrowing money from illegal moneylenders."

Lawyer N. Kanagavijayan said the job of identifying perpetrators should be left to the police once they have been directed by the magistrates to "investigate and identify the person who had opened the Facebook account in the victim's name".