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How Do I Write an Anonymous Letter?

Because a person's handwriting can be used as identification, it's best to type an anonymous letter.
One should write an anonymous letter much like they'd write a normal letter.
A persons should not include their name or signature on an anonymous letter.
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  • Written By: Mark Wollacott
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2014
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Approach an anonymous letter as if writing a normal letter. The only big difference is that you will not include your name or any other personal details. Otherwise, the basic layout and structure of the letter are the same as normal. This means that the content of your anonymous letter is dependent on what you want to write about, to whom and why.

The first tip for writing an anonymous letter is not to write it. This does not mean giving up on the whole venture, but it does mean typing it instead. It may seem paranoid to not hand-write the letter, but typing removes the possibility of your handwriting being spotted. Use a typewriter or a computer instead. If the letter is extremely sensitive in nature, regarding information you do not want traced back to you, then consider using generic paper and printers in a print shop rather than your home printer.

Include the address of your target in the letter, but exclude yours. Keep the top-right area of the letter blank. Instead, begin the letter with the date on the top-left and then your target's address immediately below it. Address the letter as normal with "Dear sir/madam," "To whom it may concern," "Dear Title" or "Dear Joe Bogs."

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Think carefully about the content of the anonymous letter before you write it. What do you want to say and why? Hone in on the details and the arguments and do not let yourself get distracted. Remember to thoroughly edit your letter and fact check wherever possible. You do not want your arguments to be ignored because of basic errors.

There are many legitimate reasons for writing an anonymous letter. Basic examples include letters of complaint, such as to a restaurant for their bad service, or letters to a writer whose opinions you do not agree with. Many times, people who write to advice columns choose to write anonymously due to the potentially embarrassing nature of their question or problem.

Two important types of letters that are usually anonymous are the whistleblower and those reporting people for something. With these two examples, it is especially important to get all of your facts correct and in place. It can also be very important to not reveal your identity, as doing so often has consequences.

Once finished, sign the letter however you wish; this could be a simple "anonymous" or "a concerned employee" or something similar. Bear in mind that when mailing the letter, some recipients will do their best to work out who sent it. You may want to mail the letter from a different post code or while on a business or pleasure trip away from home or email the letter from a generic mail service with a new email address set up just for that one email.

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bythewell
Post 4

@MrsPramm - I think the majority of anonymous letter writers aren't looking to do anything illegal. They just want to make their views known without getting any consequences.

In which case, they probably don't need to be that cautious. Frankly, I don't think anyone cares enough to track down someone who writes an anonymous snarky letter to the editor.

MrsPramm
Post 3

@pastanaga - With all the different methods of identifying paper and ink that the police and the FBI have these days, I would be extremely cautious about anything like that... Not that I would be sending an anonymous letter that would get me in trouble with them in the first place.

I know they get portrayed sometimes as being behind the times when it comes to the internet and so forth, but they manage to catch quite a few people that I would never have thought they'd be able to catch. It only takes one slip up for you to end up in trouble, which is why it's better to keep your nose clean in the first place.

pastanaga
Post 2

It's a good idea to set up an email address for this kind of thing, when you want to be anonymous. Don't try to get clever with the name of it, either. I would just go to a dictionary and open it at random to find a couple of words to use.

If you're going to mail an anonymous letter and you're really paranoid about being identified, don't forget that the envelope needs a printed sticker or something else so that you don't end up giving away your handwriting on the letter.

For the really, really paranoid, don't forget that a lot of copy centers will have security cameras, so it's difficult to know whether you're being truly anonymous by using one of those.

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