Ann Coffey

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Oral Question: Make catfishing a criminal offence

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April 9th 2019

 

I asked the Secretary of State for Digital Culture Media and Sport, whether he had conversations with the Home Secretary to make Catfishing a criminal offence.

Catfishing is when somebody’s identity is stolen and used to groom victims online. This can be both for sexual and financial gain. There has been a huge growth in dating sites, these online platforms have a responsibility to make more effort to identify catfishers and sexual predators which would make their sites safer for users.

Catfishing can leave the victims traumatised and often has devastating consequences as I first discovered when local constituent Matt Peacock told me that his images had been used by a catfish to exploit vulnerable women online.  Since then I have been campaigning to make catfishing illegal.