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NJ State Police Charge Brooklyn Duo With Placing Illegal Gambling Machines Across the State

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Wallington NJ, the New Jersey State Police have arrested Daniel Kohan, 31, and Yuriy Yakubov, 34, both of Brooklyn, N.Y. for allegedly setting up illegal gambling machines at various locations across the state that were believed to be generating more than $10,000 a month.

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Teen Fashion Website, “i-Dressup” Shut Down for Violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

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August 4,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Newark NJ, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that a California company agreed to shut down its fashion-themed social website for teens and reform its business practices to resolve allegations that the company violated state and federal laws by improperly collecting personal information from more than 2,500 New Jersey children and by failing to appropriately safeguard its users’ account information which was compromised in a 2016 data breach.

The Division alleged that Unixiz, Inc., the company that owned and operated the online social website “i-Dressup”, violated the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, by, among other things, failing to adequately safeguard user information and failing to obtain verifiable parental consent prior to collecting and processing children’s personal information.
“Children are extremely vulnerable on the internet and we must do all we can to protect them from being exploited by advertisers or tracked by internet predators,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We are committed to vigorously enforcing state and federal privacy protections and we will do everything we can to ensure that website operators comply with their duty to provide an extra layer of security on sites catering to young children.”
The allegations against Unixiz stem from an investigation initiated by the Division after media outlets began reporting that the i-Dressup website had been breached by an unknown hacker and that user accounts were vulnerable.
The Division learned through its investigation that more than 24,000 of the compromised i-Dressup accounts belonged to New Jersey residents, 10,101 of whom were under the age of 18. The Division confirmed that 2,519 accounts belonged to children under the age of 13.

The Division also alleged that Unixiz had improperly collected personal information from the 2,519 children – including first and last names, email addresses, birthdates, and gender – without prior verifiable consent from their parents, as required by law.

“As a result of our investigation, Unixiz agreed to shut down the i-Dressup website and to reform its practices to comply with all laws protecting the privacy of children and others online, said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Our cyber fraud unit will continue to monitor the internet for reports of data breaches that affect New Jersey residents and take swift action to hold companies accountable.”
In a Consent Order entered with the Division, Unixiz agreed to put in place measures to obtain verifiable parental consent on all company-operated websites that collect children’s information, as well as measures to provide parents with the ability to review the information that the company is collecting from their child, and to revoke the right of that company to collect or maintain their child’s information. Unixiz also agreed to implement policies and procedures to safeguard users’ account information.

The company also agreed to civil penalties in the amount of $98,618, $34,000 of which has been paid and $64,618 of which will be suspended and automatically vacated after two years, provided that the company complies with the terms of the Consent Order.

The i-Dressup website, which billed itself as a “social hangout website” for teens, offered its users access to fashion and fantasy-based games, and a feature which allowed certain approved users to exchange messages.
The Division, through its investigation, confirmed that the website had actual knowledge that many of its members were under the age of 13, which triggered obligations to comply with COPPA.
COPPA and its regulations apply to operators of commercial websites and online services, including mobile apps, directed to children under 13, and operators of general audience websites or online services with actual knowledge that they are collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children under 13.

The primary goal of COPPA is to provide parents with control over what information is collected from their young children online, including first and last names, home addresses, screen names and other online contact information, telephone numbers, social security numbers, photographs, and IP addresses and other persistent identifiers that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different web sites or online services.

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Attorney General Porrino and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Urge Seniors to Beware of Phone Fraud Schemes

IRS Scam

file photo by Boyd Loving

August 14,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs are urging seniors to avoid becoming the victims of phone fraud schemes and are providing a number of educational tools to help with the effort.

The Division offers brochures online to help consumers identify scams and avoid them. Its latest brochure, Fighting Phone Fraud, also gives information on the federal Do Not Call Registry and how to sign up, along with ways to block robocallers.

The message of the brochures is simple: If you think the call you are receiving is a scam, it probably is.

“Technology has made it easier for disreputable companies and criminals to prey on senior citizens with a simple phone call, often bullying or cajoling people to part with their money. These types of scams are despicable,” said Attorney General Porrino. “We want to arm seniors with information to help them avoid becoming victims and also aid regulatory agencies and law enforcement to stop illegal activity before others are hurt.”

New Jersey law also prohibits telemarketers who have not registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs from calling any New Jersey resident, regardless of whether the resident is on the national Do Not Call Registry or not. Violations of that law can lead to a $10,000 fine for a first offense and up to $20,000 for each subsequent offense.

“There are ways to punish scam autodialer calls in New Jersey, and we urge people who are being subjected to repeated calls to report these efforts to the Division of Consumer Affairs, said Steve Lee, Director of the Division. “Consumers should not engage these callers, but they should make sure to report the phone numbers.”

Those who wish to file a complaint can submit it online.

The scams outlined by the Division in its materials are varied, but all seek either personal information or money. Here are some examples:

A person posing as an agent of the Internal Revenue Service demands money for back taxes.
A person posing as a relative calls, saying he or she is in serious trouble and asks you to send money in order to help.
A person posing as a representative of your electric, gas or water service says that you owe it money and that if it’s not paid now, your service will be shut off.
A caller says he or she is getting in touch on behalf of Medicare or Medicaid and is seeking personal information because you need a new card.

The advice for all of these is the same. Do not give money. Do not give personal information. Hang up immediately.

In order to limit robocalling and scam calling, consumers first should make sure their phone numbers, both land line and cell, are on the federal Do Not Call Registry, which can be done by phone at 888-382-1222 or online at Unwanted sales calls also can be reported at this line.

Unfortunately, robocallers and scammers will still call. Third-party services may be able to limit these calls. Information on those services can be obtained at

Consumers should also know that spam and autodialer text messages are illegal as well. If you are getting unsolicited offers for free merchandise or services via text, do not respond. Instead, report these messages by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission ( or the Federal Communications Commission (

In addition, if your wireless provider is AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell, you can report offending texts by copying and pasting the original text and forwarding it to 7726, free of charge.