[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[October 30, 1998]
[Pages 1930-1931]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Signing the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 
October 30, 1998

    Today I signed into law H.R. 4151, the ``Identity Theft and 
Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998.'' This legislation will make identity 
theft a Federal crime, with penalties generally of up

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to 3 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.
    Specifically, the legislation would penalize the theft of personal 
information with the intent to commit an unlawful act, such as obtaining 
fraudulent loans or credit cards, drug trafficking, or other illegal 
purposes. It would also direct the Federal Trade Commission to help 
victims deal with the consequences of this crime.
    Tens of thousands of Americans have been victims of identity theft. 
Impostors often run up huge debts, file for bankruptcy, and commit 
serious crimes. It can take years for victims of identity theft to 
restore their credit ratings and their reputations. This legislation 
will enable the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies to combat this type of 
crime, which can financially devastate its victims.
    I want to thank the Vice President for his leadership on this and 
other privacy issues. As we enter the Information Age, it is critical 
that our newest technologies support our oldest values.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

October 30, 1998.

Note: H.R. 4151, approved October 30, was assigned Public Law No. 105-