Draft Wisconsin law would target online 'catfishing' scams - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Draft Wisconsin law would target online 'catfishing' scams

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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 catfishing by 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.

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