President Bush today signed into law a bill that provides tougher penalties for identity thieves. The move was in response to evidence the crime has grown more rampant. The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act adds a mandatory two-year prison sentence for persons convicted of using stolen personal information or credit card numbers to commit crimes. Those convicted of identity theft to "commit an act of terrorism" will receive and additional five years in prison. "The crime of identity theft undermines the basic trust on which our economy depends," Bush said during a White House bill-signing ceremony. "Identity theft harms not only its direct victims, but also many businesses and customers whose confidence is shaken. Like other forms of stealing, identity theft leaves the victim poor and feeling terribly violated." Identity theft and its related scams, such as phishing, topped the Federal Trade Commission's list of concerns this past year. Phishing occurs when fraudsters masquer...
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