Say I want to contact a government agency from the U.S. This agency can be in any country/territory/state or province. For example, I want to contact the Nova Scotia government regarding zoning laws and etc. for a property I am building.

In the contact form I put a fake name or send an email from an account that gives a fake name. I am contacting a government agency. Is this illegal if I just use a fake name to inquire info about something? Nothing illegal or shifty -- just for an email/question, and no further actions are taken beyond this (for example, I may ask a question but won't show up at city hall and give fake info).

2 Answers 2


It depends on the context, who are contacting, and what you agree to when submitting. For example, lying the the federal government of the United States is generally a crime. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Making_false_statements

Similarly, if you submit information under penalty of perjury you may be violating a law prohibiting lies under oath. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perjury


There is no US law that prohibits you from lying to the Canadian government: the federal truth law only applies to "federal matters". There is also (apparently) no Canadian equivalent of 18 USC 1001. There is a law against "false pretenses", so the first question would be whether the statement that your name is Viga Showpo was "made with a fraudulent intent to induce the person to whom it is made to act on it". The offence is defined in 362(1). It does not seem to me that any of these conditions would be the case, if you are simply asking "what are the zoning laws?", because governments don't suppress such information if you have the wrong name. The statement isn't something that they would rely on in deciding to give you something of value (information), so the false statement isn't material.

I assume that the false statement is not under oath or solemn affirmation, because then you would have to be concerned with whether the person to whom you make the statement "is authorized by law to permit [the statement] to be made before him": if so, that would be perjury.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .