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Cyber safety and ID Theft. Assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Agenda. Consumer Protection & the changing marketplace Up close: spam, spyware, & phishing Safeguarding against ID Theft . Consumer Protection Division.

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Cyber safety and ID Theft

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cyber safety and id theft

Cyber safety and ID Theft

Assistant Attorney General Jack Zurlini

Washington State Attorney General’s Office

  • Consumer Protection & the changing marketplace
  • Up close: spam, spyware, & phishing
  • Safeguarding against ID Theft
consumer protection division
Consumer Protection Division
  • Enforces Consumer Protection Act - ensures that the marketplace is free of unfair and deceptive practices
  • Tools: informal mediation, litigation, education
  • Consumer Resource Centers:
    • 4 throughout state
    • 89,000 calls in 2006
    • Returned about $5.75 million to consumers
enforcement actions
Enforcement Actions
  • $3.5 million total recoveries
  • $2.2 million fees and costs
  • $450,000 restitution to consumers
  • $468,000 cy pres
  • $307,000 civil penalties
some traditional cp issues
Some Traditional CP Issues
  • Unfair or deceptive acts or practices
    • Car repair, leasing and purchase
    • Contractors
    • Foreclosure rescue scams
    • Cell phone bills
    • Charities
    • Predatory lending
    • Credit cards
    • Telemarketers
    • Collections
the changing marketplace
The Changing Marketplace
  • Networks are now integral to the marketplace
  • When consumer trust is compromised, Internet commerce is at risk
  • Consumer Protection has adapted to digital deception and unfairness
old retailing fraud new media

Credit Cards


Biz Oppty’s

Health Care Products & Services



Old Retailing Fraud, New Media
old fraud new media
Old Fraud, New Media
  • Foreign lottery
  • Sweepstake scam
  • 419 or Advanced Fee Fraud
  • Wire transfer fraud
new high tech fraud
New High-Tech Fraud
  • SPAM
  • Spyware
  • Phishing
    • Smishing
    • Vishing
  • Pharming
  • Typosquatting
high tech deception or unfairness
High-Tech Deception or Unfairness

Examples of an unfair or deceptive practice:

  • Using image that, when clicked on, doesn’t “x” out
  • Obstructing the use of a consumer’s computer with recurrent pop-ups
  • Negative option billing at the end of a free trial offer
high tech deception or unfairness12
High-Tech Deception or Unfairness

Failure to disclose material facts:

  • A person might not download freeware if they knew there were getting spyware
  • Misrepresentations, such as making a download box for spyware look like a Microsoft Security Alert
  • Or failure to uninstall despite representing that the program will be uninstalled

High-Tech Deception or Unfairness

Unconscionable practices:

  • Use of incessant pop-up billing reminders
  • For instance, holding consumers hostage with a barrage of pop-ups until they provide payment for a service they never ordered
  • No meaningful choice of terms, i.e. exceedingly unfair terms such as continued surveillance forever or choice of forum for arbitration
  • Unsolicited bulk email
  • Widely used for committing financial institution fraud, credit card fraud, and identity theft
  • Violation of CAN-SPAM Act and WA law
  • Forward to
  • Common Spam Scams:
    • Nigerian Email
    • Phishing
    • Work-at-Home
    • Weight Loss Claims
    • Foreign Lotteries
  • Cure-All Products
  • Check Overpayment
  • Pay-in-Advance Credit Offer
  • Debt Relief
  • Investment Schemes
  • Installed without consent, spyware monitors or controls your computer use
  • Violation of Washington’s anti-spyware law
  • Effect:
    • Pop-up ads
    • Redirect computer to websites
    • Monitor Internet surfing
    • Record keystrokes

Spyware Example

  • Search tools
  • Spam
  • Adware
  • Net send messages
  • Fraudulently obtaining an individual’s personal or financial information
  • Forward to
  • If you believe you’ve been scammed, file a complaint with the FTC

If we do not get a new credit card by the end of the business day, your account will be canceled… Any invalid information will result in a $50 processing fee.

best practices for pc users
Best Practices For PC Users

Technology Practices:

  • Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them all regularly
  • Set up your browser and operating system properly, and update them regularly
  • Back up important information
best practices for pc users34
Best Practices For PC Users

Personal Behavior Practices:

  • Protect your personal information: It’s valuable
  • Know who you are dealing with
  • Protect your passwords
  • Choose the safest payment method
  • Know who to contact if you have a problem
best practices for pc users35
Best Practices For PC Users
  • Download software only from sites you know and trust.
  • Don’t click on links inside pop-up windows or in spam that claim to offer anti-spyware software or anything else.
  • Don’t reply to email or pop-up messages that ask for personal or financial information.
identity theft checklist
Identity Theft Checklist
  • Call and write to: law enforcement, credit card issuers, banks, creditors, debt collectors, credit reporting agencies.
  • Follow up phone calls in writing.
  • Keep a log.
checklist con t
Checklist, con’t
  • Contact police and file report.
  • Contact FTC and file an affidavit at
  • Police report or affidavit entitles you to copies of application and transaction forms of accounts opened in your name.
checklist con t38
Checklist, con’t
  • Contact credit reporting agencies: tell them you’re disputing debts and why.
  • Inaccurate or fraudulent information on credit report should be blocked per Fair Credit Reporting Act.
checklist con t39
Checklist, con’t
  • Contact creditors’ fraud department to alert them of fraud.
  • Existing accounts: close accounts or get new account numbers.
  • New accounts: contact creditor and get copies of application and transaction documents.
fraud alerts and security freezes
Fraud Alerts and Security Freezes
  • Fraud Alert places statement on credit report for 90 days requiring new creditor to call you before extending credit.
  • Security Freeze blocks potential creditor’s access to credit report. Current law requires victim of id theft or of computerized data security breach.
new security freeze law
New Security Freeze Law
  • No need to first be a victim.
  • Free if 65 or over; $10 fee to freeze and $30 to thaw.
  • 15 minute thaw to open accounts.
  • Credit reports still accessible to consumer and existing creditors.
  • Effective September 2008.
reporting internet fraud
Reporting Internet Fraud
  • Washington Attorney General: 1-800-551-4636
  • FTC: 1-877-382-4357
  • To forward spam:
reporting internet fraud con t
Reporting Internet Fraud con’t
  • Identity theft:
  • FBI/Internet Fraud Center:
  • Anti-Phishing Working Group:
  • Local law enforcement, internet service provider, or site operator
additional information
Additional Information
  • Free credit reports: or call 1-877-322-8228
  • Security freeze or fraud alert:
  • Do not call list 1-888-382-1222 or
  • Opt-out list 1-888-567-8688 or
contact information
Contact Information
  • Consumer Resource Center
    • 1-800-551-4636
  • Jack G. Zurlini, Jr., AAG
    • 509-456-3123