HARRISBURG, Pa. (11/21/07)--A bill that would help consumers and financial institutions in the battle against identity theft by making phishing illegal in Pennsylvania was unanimously passed Monday by the state Senate. Written by State Sen. Jake Corman (R-34), the legislation, SB390, would make it a felony to phish personal information. The bill would carry a fine of $10,000 for each violation, with the ability to collect damages up to three times the actual amount (Life Is A Highway Nov. 20). The bill--which gives the state attorney general sole jurisdiction to prosecute violations-- also stipulates that if an Internet user provides personal information, the individual who solicits the information could be charged with a third-degree felony. A phisher selling or distributing the information could be charged with a second-degree felony. The legislation also affords Internet service providers and other website owners with recourse to pursue civil relief, if their business is misrepresented by a phishser. Credit unions and other financial institutions are often the targets of phish attempts. The legislation now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.