Cracking Down on ID Theft

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A Mississippi law that took effect Thursday is designed to help people recover from identity theft.

Attorney General Jim Hood says in 2003, more than 1,000 people reported being victims of ID theft in Mississippi. He says the numbers are rising.

The new law provides stiffer penalties for those convicted of ID crimes by raising the maximum jail time from five years to 15.

Those convicted also must pay restitution to the victim and reimburse prosecutors for double the investigative costs. Under the new law, the attorney general also can issue subpoenas to investigate cases of ID theft.

The ID theft provisions were among dozens of new Mississippi laws taking effect on the first day of the new state budget year.