Louisiana law aimed at preventing internet hoaxes - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Louisiana law aimed at preventing internet hoaxes

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Dating can be hard enough for some people and when you add in the element of social media and dating sites, the mating game can get even harder. 

Like in Manti Te'o's tale, creating fake profiles and personalities and actually living those made up lives happens more than you'd think. 

"It's supposed to keep people from impersonating another person in these mediums basically."

First Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Killingsworth is speaking about the piece of legislation passed to protect people when interacting in the social sphere. 

"You have to show that they intended - by impersonating another person without their authority - that they were going to defraud or that they were going to harm, threaten and that sort of thing by doing that," said Killingsworth. 

The bill isn't only applicable to online sites. The same applies even for texting. 

"If I use your cell phone and you didn't tell me I could, and I pretended to be you and I sent something very bad out to all your friends, I would be guilty of this crime," Killingsworth said.  "Because I didn't have your authority and I meant to harm you."

While you may think you're playing a joke on someone else or actually living a double life, if caught in the state of Louisiana, there are consequences. 

"The penalties are imprisonment from 10 days to six months, and fines from $250 to $1,000 for the event," said Killingsworth.  

According to Killingsworth, the best way to protect yourself against going down Te'o's same path ...

"Meet them! That's the only thing I can think of. Make sure it's in a public place," she added. 

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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