San Diego, CA - America's
fastest growing crimes, credit and identity theft, have
claimed over 44 million known victims - and still
counting. There are dozens of organizations offering
so-called Identity Theft 'services' and claiming to be
'fraud specialists', most all of which are merely
reactive. Until now, there has been no standard.
Proactively guarding against this insidious and
potentially devastating crime has become of the utmost
importance among consumers and small business owners who
handle private information. Equipping and training
professionals as qualified identity theft risk managers
has also become paramount as statistics show that the
constant reactive focus and response to the crime is
ineffective. The number of new identity theft victims only
continues to grow at staggeringly high rates, law
enforcement is overwhelmed, and there is a clearly defined
critical need for trained professionals who can work with
and educate consumers and small business owners how to
proactively safeguard their own identity and credit, going
far beyond those simplistic and general 'prevention tips'
so commonly used by countless organizations that merely
scratch the surface and provide a false sense of security.
A new curriculum program for training and certifying
Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists has been
introduced by the Institute of Consumer Financial
Education (ICFE), an award winning, San Diego based,
non-profit organization, which already has close to one
thousand ICFE Certified Credit Report Reviewers (CCRRs)
and Certified Personal Finance Instructors for 'The Money
Among the first nationwide organizations to enroll
counselor managers is Springboard Non-profit Consumer
Credit Management, based in Riverside, CA. "Credit and
identity theft is the new bane to all consumers", said
Dianne Wilkman, president and CEO of Springboard.
"Professionally trained and skilled counselors from
accredited nonprofit agencies like Springboard, doing risk
assessment and risk management and working with victims on
resolution, are rare," she added. Springboard is now a
place where victims can find help, and where those who
don't want to become victims can learn how to raise their
defenses and guard against this repulsive crime," she
The ICFE is enlisting CPAs, financial planners, notaries,
credit and debt educators, counselors, paralegals and
attorneys, and credit union representatives to become
trained and certified to assess clients' risks of becoming
a victim of credit and identity theft and work with them
to manage and minimize that risk. Or, conduct a risk
assessment for the small business owner who handles their
customers' confidential and credit information and make
improvements and recommendations on its handling, storage,
disposition, and destruction.
ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists
become the first line of defense for the people they serve
when it comes to spotting and thwarting suspicious
activity, guarding against credit and identity theft,
dramatically increasing their security awareness and
significantly minimizing their risk across all fronts.
Small business owners also face many new responsibilities
and liabilities under the expanded credit reporting laws,
including FACTA, and most are unaware of these new legal
requirements. ICFE Certified Identity Risk Management
Specialists can help them achieve compliance and guard and
protect the confidential information they possess about
their customers and employees, while also assisting them
in reducing their potential risk of data breaches and the
resultant penalties, including potential fines, negative
publicity, loss of consumer confidence, and possible
Many national professional organizations have already
realized the importance of training and continuing
education of their membership about identity theft and its
risk management and are reviewing the program for their
respective members' continuing education (CE)
requirements, certification credits, professional
development, continuing legal education (CLE), mandatory
CLE (MCLE), and continuing professional education (CPE)
The ICFE has been accepted as a continuing education (CE)
provider with its Certified Credit Report Reviewer and
Certified Personal Finance Instructor programs. These
organizations include, but are not limited to; the
International Association of Registered Financial
Consultants (iarfc.org), the Association for Counseling
and Planning Education (afcpe.org) the Certified Financial
Planner's Board of Standards and Practices (cfpboard.org)
the National Association of Certified Credit Counselors (naccc.us)
and the National Institute for Financial Counseling
Education (nifce.org), among other organizations.
To learn more about the ICFE Certification Programs,
please visit www.financial-education-icfe.org.
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.