Catfishing is something that has really grown in prominence with the rise of the Internet. It is essentially the process of pretending to be someone that you are not, assuming a different persona and tricking someone online. This can often be so complex that a person who is catfishing someone else may choose a selection of photographs of another individual and claim that those are their own, they may create social media profiles around this fictitious person and much more.
Often, this happens in situations where people are using dating apps or looking for an intimate partner. While there are many reasons that you do not want to get catfished if you are using these apps or websites, one important thing to keep in mind is that it could even put you on the sex offenders list.
How could this happen?
The issue is that some people who are interested in catfishing others will lie about their age. This is a very important point because many people meet up and never actually share any proof of their identity or their age. If the goal is a romantic encounter, asking someone to see their driver’s license is probably not given a high enough priority.
However, this could mean that you have this intimate encounter with someone who you believe is over 18 years old, without knowing that they are actually underage. You never meant to do anything wrong, but you have now potentially violated laws about underage relationships and statutory rape. This could lead to criminal charges that stay on your record for life, and you may even have to register on the sex offenders list, which is public information
Naturally, facing the ramifications when you didn’t mean to do anything wrong can be very frightening. Be sure that you know exactly what legal defense options you have.