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Fake social media profiles appear in Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE - Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend fiasco isn't the first time a ficticious social media profile has caused trouble, nor will it be the last.

Just ask Ashley Hebert, a legislative analyst at the State Capitol and a beauty pageant queen.

"I had a friend text me with a screenshot of an Instagram profile and it had my picture, but it wasn't my name, it wasn't my profile," Hebert told News 2. "And he said, 'is this you, did you get another account?' And I said, no, this isn't me, oh my gosh."

A yet-unidentified person lifted pictures of Hebert from her account, and started a new one under the name, "DREDAYKMG."

Hebert notified Instagram, but the site hasn't taken action yet.

"I hope they're not trying to date people and say it's me," said Hebert.

Creating a fake account on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is as easy as simply downloading pictures, and using them for a newly registered account. Creating a fake profile without the real person's consent, with the purpose of defrauding that person or another individual, is illegal under state law. It's punishable with fines up to $1,000 and jail time up to six months.

That law, passed at the latest legislative session, also covers any fake Craigslist ads with real telephone numbers.

"Social media can be a good thing, but when people take it and manipulate others, it's bad," said Hebert.  "Why not just be yourself and be real?"


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