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Lawmakers introduce "catfishing" legislation

NOW: Lawmakers introduce “catfishing“ legislation


MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Lawmakers have a plan to stop catfishing which is when someone creates a false identity online to lure someone in.

Lawmakers are calling it the "Catfishing Bill." It makes it a Class B Misdemeanor to impersonate someone else in an attempt to harm, frighten, abuse, or harass another person.

The term is often used to describe fake online dating profiles but lawmakers say the bill also aims to cut down on predatory action towards minors and robbing te elderly of their money.

They say if nothing else, the bill is a step in the right direction toward the justice system catching up with technology.

"People can be lured into situations innocently and then end up having meetings or going further than they should, particularly juveniles and that's who we want to protect the most," said Senator Janet Bewley of Ashland.

There has not been any major opposition to the bill. Proponents say they hope to get the misdemeanor penalty passed as a first step and potentially increase penalties down the road. 

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