stadelman 051921SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) passed legislation through a Senate Committee that would expand the state’s ability to punish someone for impersonating another online, a practice commonly called catfishing.

“If you knowingly impersonate another person in order to harm them, there have to be real consequences,” Stadelman said. “There are cases where people’s lives are turned upside down or even ruined because someone is impersonating them. In the age of the internet, impersonating others has gotten easier and more common than ever.” 

The legislation expands the state's ability to make it a crime for a person to use someone else's name to create a fake webpage on a social networking site or send a message to intentionally cause emotional or economic damage.

“We cannot allow identity fraud to go unchecked in this state,” Stadelman said.

Senate Bill 766 passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee with a vote of 10-0 and is now headed to the full Senate for further consideration.