Educational CyberPlayGround ®



How to protect yourself from email fraud.

Are you a victim of internet fraud and want to prevent it from happening again?

Internet Fraud - Email Fraud - Indentity Fraud




11/7/2013, IRS refunded $4 billion to identity thieves

If you become the victim of identity theft, either because of tax fraud — or due to fraud outside of the tax system — you are encouraged to contact the IRS at the Identity Protection Specialized Unit, toll-free at 1-800-908-4490 so that the IRS can take steps to further secure your account. That process is likely to involve the use of taxpayer-specific PINs for people that have had issues with identity theft. If approved, the PIN is required on any tax return filed for that consumer before a return can be accepted. To start the process of applying for a tax return PIN from the IRS, check out the steps at this link. You will almost certainly need to file an IRS form 14039 (PDF), and provide scanned or photocopied records, such a drivers license or passport.

FIND OUT MORE SEARCH "identity theft" on this site.

To obtain an annual free copy of your credit reports,



First things First:

  • Get your Credit Repair in 30 days reporting agency

  • Get Free credit report

  • Get errors fixed




1) Learn about Email

2) NEVER RESPOND TO SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM Explains what email fraud is and why it is dangerous!!


You may want to unplug your computer from the net.

Create your Social Security Online Account

Block Access to your Social Security Online Service
If you block access to your record and then change your mind in the future, you can contact Social Security and ask us to unblock it.

Fraud Prevention - Informative web site with information about fraud, how to prevent being a victim and how to file a complaint if you are a victim.

Prevent Internet Fraud - Article with ten suggestions on how to prevent fraud.

Preventing Fraud - Helpful tips for consumers on how to prevent Internet fraud.

8 Signs Your Identity Has Been Compromised: Norton estimates in 2010 more than 74 million people in the U.S. were victims of some form of cybercrime, leading to $32 billion in direct financial losses.

Terrified yet?
As the agencies responsible for running some of the government's largest entitlement programs, the VA and Health and Human Services retain deeply private, unspeakably sensitive information on millions of Americans.

2012 - 94 Million Exposed: The Government's Epic Fail on Privacy
Believe it or not, this number -- which was just revealed in the latest report from tech security firm Rapid7 -- is only the most conservative estimate. According to Rapid7's analysis, government agencies at the local, state and federal level are becoming infinitely more proficient at exposing our personal data, putting more and more of it at risk with each passing year. To take one little-known example, local governments in California are exempted from that state's breach notification law -- "a big exception, in my opinion," as Clearinghouse founder and director Beth Givens told us, since local governments "compile a great deal of personal information." Furthermore, out of 268 breach incidents reported since 2009, the 67 of the public agencies responsible (and I use that term loosely) couldn't even figure out how many records were lost. That fact alone will tell anyone with basic math skills and a lick of common sense that this epidemic is much worse than we know. Too many bureaucrats are losing track of too much of our data, and their oops! moments are being magnified by civil servants who consistently fail to implement the necessary access controls, encryption, physical security, and performance audits required to comply with the law and keep citizens' private data private, according to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office.


Credit Card Debt You Don't Owe?



FIX ERRORS ON YOUR CREDIT CARD REPORT: Credit Repair in 30 days. What to do If you suspect you're a victim of identity theft.

  • File a police report; call the fraud unit of the credit companies or banks and place a victim statement on your credit report.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission identification theft consumer response center at (877) ID-THEFT.
  • Opt out of pre-approved credit card offers by calling (888) 5OPTOUT, or (888) 567-8688. Your request covers all three major credit bureaus.
  • Harassed About a Debt You Don't Owe? 5 Ways to Fight Back


Children won't know they have been victims of identity theft fraud until after they turn 18 YEARS OLD.




Fraud Secrets: A Backstage Tour
WHAT A CON ARTIST LOOKS FOR IN A SCAM VICTIM From the Powerful to the Powerless: No one is immune from a good scammer. How you are chosen and manipulated

From the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Paying by Credit Card or Check: What Can Merchants Ask?
Many states have laws that dictate what kind of information merchants can and cannot ask for or write down when a consumer pays with a check or credit card. Those states and their applicable laws are listed.
The remaining information in this fact sheet applies specifically to California. Two California laws limit the collection of personal information by merchants when you pay by credit card or check. These laws were enacted to prevent fraud and limit the amount of personal information which can be collected by merchants. When a consumer pays with a credit card, the merchant cannot record any personal information other than what is on the front of the credit card. (California Civil Code 1747.8)
When a consumer pays with a check, the merchant cannot record the credit card number. (California Civil Code 1725)

MasterCard Bylaws 9.11.2 generally restrict merchants from requiring identification in face-to-face signature transactions. Of course the MasterCard rule is trumped by laws that require the merchant to verify the age of customers for certain kinds of purchases. Visa does not publish their rules but they have a similar requirement. There are also some state laws (including California) that prevent merchants from recording ID information in connection with a credit card purchase (the merchant can insist on seeing the ID, they just can't record it).

Paying by Credit Card
What personal information can't a merchant collect when a consumer pays with a credit card?
Merchants cannot request or require that the consumer write any personal information, including address and telephone number, on any form associated with the credit card transaction when the consumer uses a credit card to pay for goods or services.
In addition, the merchant cannot ask the consumer to provide personal information that the merchant then records.Merchants cannot use credit card forms with pre-printed spaces for personal information.
Are there any exceptions? Yes.
A merchant can, in certain limited circumstances, collect personal information including when:

  • The credit card is used as a deposit.
  • The credit card is used for a cash advance
  • The personal information is needed for something incidental but related to the use of the credit card. An example would be the address to which the purchased product is to be shipped.
  • A merchant is required by federal law or regulation. Merchants can require a consumer who pays for goods or services by credit card to show identification such as a California driver's license or California ID. If these are not available, another form of photo identification can be required to be shown.
  • But merchants cannot write or record any information from these documents.
  • Merchants can record the card holder's driver's license number or identification card number on any form associated with the transaction if the card holder pays with a credit card but does not provide the credit card. An example is if you are at a department store and forget your credit card but want to charge something to your account.
  • Some credit card companies such as MasterCard and VISA prohibit merchants from requiring additional identification when using their signed cards."

Credit Repair in 30 days

Restore good credit, register disputes, correct outdated credit reports, and even avoid bankruptcy.


You can get rid of "questionable" items if you Request a reinvestigation of information in your file that you dispute as inaccurate or incomplete.

  • it is perfectly legal to challenge ANYTHING on your credit report. There is no charge for requesting an investigation.
  • The whole key to the credit repair procedure is that if the credit bureaus cannot verify information on your credit report they must remove it.
  • Example: If a credit bureau cannot contact a collection agency which is reporting a collection on your report, if they cannot verify the information, then the credit bureau must delete the entry.
  • CLUE: It is against the law for Online credit card transactions to happen in real time, if the company can't mail your order out to you on the same day. Online credit card transactions happen in real time. If the site that is accepting your credit card ships the product that same day it is ok for them to take your money. It is against the law for Online credit card transactions to happen in real time, if the company can't mail your order out to you on the same day. If they can't ship that day, hen they are not allowed to take your money, but they can "put a hold on on your money " until they do ship your stuff. They can only take your money on the day they ship it. This rule comes from the law that applies to catalogue companies.


Put a Fraud Elert on your credit card. Contact Credit Bureau:

How do I get a free copy of my credit file?

1. The federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act) which amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows you to get one free copy of your credit file every 12 months from each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies. You may request your free annual credit file:

2. If you meet one of the FCRA requirements below, you are entitled to one additional free copy of your credit file during any 12 month period:

  • Persons that are unemployed and intend to apply for employement within 60 days,
  • Persons receiving public welfare assistance,
  • Personal who believe their consumer file contains inaccurate information due to fraud,
  • Persons that have been the subject of adverse action, such as denial of credit or insurance, within the past 60 days.


Documents that show the reports TransUnion gives to lenders give information not included on consumer disclosures see example of non compliance of full disclosure as required by law.

Federal law requiring credit reporting agencies to disclose to the consumer "All information in the consumer's file at the time of the request... "

According to HSH Associates, a publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information, those with "A+" credit quality (no delinquency) get better rates than those with, for instance, "C-" credit quality. One of their definitions of C- is "Installment/Revolving" accounts 4-6 times late in the last 12 months ( So, the lender knows how many times the consumer was late in the past year because the lender's report gives that information. Trans Union's disclosures to consumers do not provide it.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act: "Every consumer reporting agency shall, upon request, and subject to section 1681h(a)(1) of this title, clearly and accurately disclose to the consumer:

(1) All information in the consumer's file at the time of the request."

"All" information would include all-- not just some of-- the dates.

As of Jan 1, 2004, due to the new FCRA Act of 2003, all credit bureaus will be required to give out one free credit report per year. They are rolling this program out slowly as the year rolls on. Note: The Credit Bureaus are not required to give out your credit score for free. If you want to order a report it is around $9.00 plus another $13.00 to see your score. The free reports are good for 30 days only, so make sure you print your reports if you get them online.

If you already got your 1 free report for the year but need another one there are exceptions to this one-per-consumer-per-year rule if you write to say you were a victim of fraud.

Credit Bureaus do not investigate disputed inquiries. They are say it is a "statement of fact".
WRONG - You can Get inquiries deleted.

The FCRA says that ANY information which is disputed on your credit report MUST be investigated. If they won't investigate, take their written letter to you as evidence they are breaking the law and file a lawsuit in small claims to collect $1000. 00

Sue Creditors, if you dispute a debt, and they fail to report it as disputed to the credit bureaus Protection under the FCRA LAW Section 623 for $1,000

Sue Creditors if they report your credit history inaccurately for Defamation, and financial injury.
USING US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, No. 00-15946, Nelson vs. Chase Manhattan FOR the Extent of damages incurred by the wronged party as deemed by the courts.

Sue Creditors if they pull your credit file without permissible purpose FOR the Injury to your credit report and credit score using the FCRA Section 604 (A)(3) for $1,000

Many of your inquiring creditors may simply agree to delete the inquiry as a courtesy or because they cannot (or will not) verify your authorization. That is the goal. Remember, it is not likely that you will need all of your credit inquiries removed -- just enough of them to keep you from being denied credit.

Unauthorized Credit Inquiry, messing up your credit. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows only authorized inquiries to appear on the consumer credit report. You must challenge whether the inquiring creditor had proper authorization to pull your credit file.

I recently received a copy of my TRW credit report. The credit report showed a credit inquiry by your company that I do not recall authorizing. I understand that you shouldn't be allowed to put an inquiry on my file unless I have authorized it. Please have this inquiry removed from my credit file because it is making it very difficult for me to acquire credit. I have sent this letter certified mail because I need your prompt response to this issue. Please be so kind as to forward me documentation that you have had the unauthorized inquiry removed. If you find that I am remiss, and you did have my authorization to inquire into my credit report, then please send me proof of this.

{ your name}

If you read that a credit inquiry was authorized by you, then write back that the inquirer's authorization form was too complicated and not easily understood by the layman and threaten to contact the State Banking Commission to complain about a deceptive and unclear authorization form if they don't remove your inquiry.

Send each letter Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested and keep close track of the time that you sent the letter.

If {COMPANY} who was the inquiring creditor - the one you sent your letter to -- doesn't respond within thirty 30 days you can demand that the inquiry be removed immediately or you will take them to small claims court, complain to the State Banking Commission or similar Federal Trade Commission 202-326-2222

According to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which is conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, identity theft affected an estimated 3.6 million households--with losses totaling $3.2 billion--in the first six months of 2004. The survey contacts a random sample of 42,000 households every six months and follows them for three years. The new data are from the first instance of the survey to specifically address identity theft. The most common types of theft were from unauthorized use of credit cards. Households with annual incomes of more than $75,000 and those headed by individuals between 18 and 24 years old were more likely to suffer identity theft, though the survey did not investigate the possible reasons behind these trends. 3 April 2006

The Treasury Department DVD advises consumers on how they can protect themselves should they fall victim to identity theft.
The video is available and Instructions for initiating an alert may be obtained from the Federal Trade Commission's Web site.

2012 - Consumer Complaint Resources: A Guide to Internet Fraud from lists Types of Internet Fraud, Prevention Tips, Reporting Fraud suggested by a student named Gavin from the Compton Community Center at the recomendation of his teacher Alyssa Lozano who was working with youth members in a fraud prevention workshop.

Recently I was a victim of some email fraud. In order to prevent it from happening again I did some research on the topic and came across your helpful page. You have some really good information - thanks! Susan