On Tuesday, Labour MP Ann Coffey will use an adjournment debate to call for the introduction of a new law that will criminalise catfishing, by making it an offence to steal someone’s identity and pose as them online to lure people into sexual relationships.
She will also urge Facebook and online dating companies to be more proactive against catfishing by monitoring their websites more stringently, and by providing warning messages.
MPs are to be urged to outlaw the practice of ‘catfishing’, which refers to online predators using fake dating profiles to trick victims into sexual relationships.
The increasingly common phenomenon involves perpetrators stealing the online identity of a good-looking man or woman, and creating a profile to lure multiple victims into having sex or sending explicit photos.
This, the husband told the documentary makers, showed how everyone needed a ‘catfish’ in their lives to keep them alert and active.
Some psychologists think that catfish start deceiving to fill otherwise empty lives, and also to experience a thrill of “duper’s delight” when they succeed in their deception.
“My family is a strong one,” said Mr Peacock, “But this created a lot of distress.” He added: “My wife began to get messages from women.After she publicised her case, she said she was contacted by many other women who said they too had been deceived by the same man.Supporting her petition for catfishing to be made a criminal offence, Ms Rowe said: “He took advantage of my trust and took away my right to choose.Ms Rowe, a mother-of-two in her 40s said she was deceived by someone who used a slightly doctored photo of a similar-looking Bollywood star on his Tinder profile.Ms Rowe said he lied about his name, and the fact he was married.