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Draft Wisconsin law would target online 'catfishing' scams

Wisconsin internet romance winds up in catfish
Posted at 4:45 PM, Nov 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-25 20:18:33-05

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Using social networks to create fake personas to harass or defraud someone would be illegal under legislation lawmakers are considering in Wisconsin.

The scam is known as "catfishing" and Wisconsin's pending measure would make it a misdemeanor to pretend to be someone else with intent to threaten, harass, or defraud another person. About a dozen states already have laws against online impersonation.

Wisconsin lawmakers sponsoring the bill say the crime is more commonplace but there's no way to address it under state law.

Just this week, retired NBA star Ray Allen told a Florida court he was the victim of catfishingby a man trying to extort money from him.

Wisconsin's bill had a public hearing in the state Assembly on Nov. 16, but has yet to receive a vote.