An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for someone to be an impersonator, some common ones being as follows:
- Legally: An entertainer impersonates a celebrity, generally for entertainment, and makes fun of their recent scandals or known behaviour patterns. Entertainers who impersonate multiple celebrities as part of their act are typically called impressionists.
- Illegally: As part of a criminal act such as identity theft. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information, or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering.
- Political decoy, used as a form of protection for political and military figures. This involves an impersonator who is employed (or forced) to perform during public appearances, to mislead observers.