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New Wisconsin bill makes impersonating on social media a crime

Bill targets practice known as "catfishing"
Posted at 10:56 AM, Jan 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 11:56:07-05

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Impersonating someone on social media would be made a crime under a bill up for a vote in the Wisconsin Assembly.

The measure slated for approval Tuesday targets the practice known as "catfishing." That is one someone impersonates another person online with the intent of defrauding or harassing them.

The bill has bipartisan support and would make the crime a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail.

Bill co-sponsor Rep. Bob Kulp says he introduced the measure after a friend of his was targeted by someone trying to defraud him out of money.

Kulp says the bill updates current law which only deals with email fraud. He says it's similar to laws in place in other states, including California, Texas and Pennsylvania.