Iowa banks would be able to go after the shysters who try to trick the bank’s customers into divulging financial information under a law proposed in the Senate. Senator Steve Kettering, a banker from Lake View, says it’s designed to go after people who’re setting up fake bank websites and sending out email implying it’s from a bank. The law would apply to direct mail, too. Kettering says people are fooled into divulging their bank account numbers and even Social Security numbers, data which the theives use to make bank withdrawals or even get new credit cards.”I don’t think it’s become a huge problem in Iowa but it’s becoming more of a prevalent problem not only in Iowa but around the nation,” Kettering says. Recent reports indicate identity theives are now going beyond the nation’s big banks and starting to target the customers of small, local banks. The bill allows the financial institution that’s mimicked to go after the identity theif or theives, and the penalty would be up to a year in jail and a fine of up to 15-hundred dollar fine for each attempt to bilk a customer. “This is for the deceptive practice of using the trademark, logo, name of a financial institution,” Kettering says. Three other states have passed similar laws, and Kettering says the early evidence is it’s doing some good. The bill cleared the Senate this morning 49 to zero. It will next be considered in the House.
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