San Diego, CA - The financial
health of our military personnel has become a growing
concern among government officials. A recent Government
Accountability Office (GAO) report highlighted the concern
by Congress and the Department of Defense about the
financial conditions of military personnel and their
families, especially with the heightened deployment rate
to Iraq and Afghanistan. In numerous cases, servicemembers
have become targets of predatory lending and other
deceptive financial schemes. Financial difficulties can
negatively affect morale and readiness
as well as servicemembers' credit history and military
career. The San Diego Naval Station was a key participant
in the GAO's findings.
The California Department of Corporations (Corporations)
provided California military personnel with a new type of
weapon to combat financial fraud and predatory lending:
California Troops Against Predatory Scams (California
TAPS). At the San Diego Naval Station, the California
Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Secretary
Sunne Wright McPeak, California Corporations Acting
Commissioner Wayne Strumpfer, and Navy Region Southwest
Rear Admiral Jose Luis Betancourt, officially announced
the launch of the California TAPS Campaign - an education
and outreach program designed to provide our troops with
valuable information and tips to help combat military
The California TAPS Campaign will help educate our men and
women in uniform using a variety of tools. The campaign
will serve as a starting point for our troops when faced
with important investment decisions. It will provide
information on current scams and facts on different
financial products. In partnership with the Department of
Defense, California TAPS information will be made
available to military "newcomers" during mandatory
orientation procedures. The campaign will also serve as a
directory for available Resources and can help troops
confirm if a sales person and company are
properly licensed and registered by contacting
Corporations toll-free consumer resource center at
1-866-ASK- CORP (275-2677)
"Armed with this information, our troops will be better
equipped to make wise financial decisions and avoid those
financial products that could lead to tremendous debt or
are outright scams," said Secretary McPeak. "The
California TAPS program is designed to educate our troops
before they become victims."
"Too often criminals prey on California military personnel
with complex and confusing financial schemes to steal
their hard-earned dollars," added Rear Admiral Betancourt.
"The California TAPS program will help our troops combat
this type of fraud and prevent them from becoming targets
of financial fraud."
The Department of Corporations is California's investment
and financing authority and is responsible for the
regulation, enforcement, and licensing of securities,
franchises, off-exchange commodities, investment and
financial services, independent escrows, consumer and
commercial finance lending, residential mortgage lending,
and payday lenders.
For further information or to obtain a complaint form,
please visit Corporations' Web site at www.corp.ca.gov or
call our consumer resource center toll-free at
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation). The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org). CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed. In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.
The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org. Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G, a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.