Recognized Identity Theft expert develops training curriculum
used by nation's top non-profit ID Theft advocacy organizations
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Recognized Identity Theft expert develops training curriculum
used by nation's top non-profit ID Theft advocacy organizations. An overwhelming
need for professionally trained Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists

San Diego, CA - Becoming an identity theft victim was a turning point for Michael Barnett, the former law enforcement officer and fraud investigator who authored the nation's premier training and certification curriculum for ID theft risk management professionals. For the last sixteen years, he has been dedicated to combating fraud by providing tools and education.

The San Diego based Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), a nonprofit, public education organization, trains and certifies law enforcement professionals, attorneys, credit and debt counselors, financial planners, notaries and others as identity theft risk management specialists and credit report reviewers. Recognizing a need for standardized, professional training for counselors and other professionals, the ICFE selected Barnett to develop the course independent study guide and examination for the Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist program.

A frequent author, lecturer, and consultant, Barnett, CEO of Global Fraud Solutions, LLC, is one of the nation's leading Identity Theft authorities. Drawing upon vast experience and knowledge of identity theft and identity fraud, Barnett originally designed the acclaimed CasePlanner' software, an education, risk management, and resolution system for consumers and victims of identity theft. The case management system version of the CasePlanner software is used exclusively by the Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego, a national non-profit consumer advocacy group focusing on victim assistance.

More people are slowly becoming aware of the importance of proactively managing their own risk of credit and identity theft, particularly in light of wide-scale fraud, information theft and data compromises, and alarming news stories about the increase in credit and identity theft incidents. However, the basic, generic advice that is typically provided can provide a dangerous false sense of security.

'The basic advice, though well-intentioned, can actually contribute to the problem. Consumers are led to believe 'If I do these ten simple things, I'll be safe'. Criminals have become extremely sophisticated in their techniques, deceptions, and abilities to strike without warning while covering their tracks. Consumers and small business owners are simply unaware of the true extent of their risks, or their rights, responsibilities, and potential liabilities. It is only through proper education and proactive risk management that they can effectively begin to minimize their risks,' said Barnett.

Educating consumers and small business owners about fraud and their areas of risk is a valuable and much-needed service. Reviewing how credit, financial, and other private and important information is handled, stored, and disposed of, and providing expert advice and techniques on how to effectively minimize the risk of becoming a victim is included in a comprehensive program taught by the ICFE.

'A certified professional can provide expert education, guidance, and a review of the handling of personal credit and identity information for the express purposes of safeguarding against credit fraud, information compromise, and identity theft,' Barnett added.

Additionally, businesses both large and small are given new responsibilities under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and held liable with penalties should they not protect the private information of their clients and customers. Small businesses owners especially need the help of professionally trained individuals who can also provide information to assist them in complying with these responsibilities. And also identifying the steps to minimize risks and avoid suffering the damaging effects of negative publicity and possible legal penalties.

The ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS) program enrollees learn from a comprehensive Independent Study Guide, and must then pass a 100 question written examination, which requires a minimum 80% passing grade. There are five areas of study and testing:

1) Understanding Identity Theft
2) Credit Reports, Specialty Reports and Public Records
3) Identity Theft Risk Management and Resolution
4) Rights and Responsibilities under Consumer Protection Laws
5) Identity Theft Risks and Issues for Businesses

The course includes a copy of the CasePlanner' Identity Theft Risk Management and Resolution software from Global Fraud Solutions, LLC.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, PACE and the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants has accepted the CITRMS program for 30 continuing education hours.

'The acceptance of this course by these prestigious professional organizations clearly demonstrates that in today's environment, it is critical for professionals to educate and assist their clients in addressing all aspects of risk management,' said ICFE Executive Director, Paul Richard.

'Sound risk management in today's world includes not only education and planning in the traditional sense, but also education and risk management related to fraud and identity theft. The professional who is in a position to provide this type of client assistance provides a valuable, much-needed service that distinguishes themselves amongst their peers,' Barnett added.


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: (  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the ( 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: and  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.

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