Columbus, OH asked in Employment Law, Identity Theft and Internet Law for Ohio

Q: Is it illegal to make money under a fake name online?

My friend is trying to make some extra money by tutoring online. It's through a legitimate website (I think it's called Wyzant or something similar) and students would pay her for tutoring them via video chat. But she doesn't want to use her real name for privacy reasons I guess. Is it illegal for her to use a fake name? I tried doing some research on this and most of what I got was that it's legal to use a fake name online to protect your privacy but it becomes illegal if it's harmful to someone else or if you profit from it. For this reason I'm trying to convince her that it IS illegal because she's making money under a fake name. It might be important to mention that the name she wants to use is just made up, probably not the name of any real person.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.