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New Virginia Law Punishes Phishers

According to a story in today's edition of The Washington Post, lawmakers in Virginia have passed a handful of new bills to crack down on phishers, people who try to lure you with e-mail into giving up your personal and financial information at fake bank and e-commerce Web sites.

While stealing people's financial information is already illegal, of course, these bills would make things tougher on the phishers when and if they get caught. The story notes, "Starting July 1, cyberscammers who deceive people out of that kind of information could face a felony charge punishable by up to five years in prison and $2,500 in fines. Those convicted of selling the data or using it to commit another crime, such as identity theft, would face twice the prison time."

The phishing problem has gotten attention from Congress as well. Last month, I wrote about a new bill in the Senate that would allow prosecutors to impose fines of up to $250,000 and jail terms of up to five years against convicted spammers.

I've written extensively about the plight of phishing victims, what's driving the phishing epidemic, what scammers do with the data, as well as advice on how to avoid getting phished.

By Brian Krebs  |  April 10, 2005; 4:46 PM ET
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