dangerous for online criminals if a bill sponsored by US Senator
Charles Schumer becomes law this year.
Under the proposed Anti-phishing Act it would be a crime to use
the internet to fraudulently obtain personal information by
creating a website or domain name purporting to be a legitimate
business without the approval of that business. Those convicted of
the crime would face a fine, up to five years’ imprisonment, or
The bill provides similar penalties for sending an e-mail that
falsely represents itself as being a legitimate online business,
links users to a site that falsely purports to be associated with a
legitimate online business and seeks identity information from the
Also to be sponsored by Schumer is the Fair Gift Card Act, aimed
at greater regulation of the growing online gift-card trading
market. In a statement he noted that of the $18 billion the
National Retail Federation estimates to have been spent in the US
during the 2008 holiday season on gift cards, between 12 percent
and 14 percent of this amount would not be used by recipients, thus
stimulating the online trade in gift cards.
“It is buyer beware in the used gift card marketplace,” said
Schumer noting, for example, many gift cards offered online are
expired or come with undisclosed fees.