ICFE Cautions Veterans and Active Duty Service Members:
Credit Monitoring - A Feel Good Answer, But A False Sense of Security
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ICFE Cautions Veterans and Active Duty Service Members:
Credit Monitoring - A Feel Good Answer, But A False Sense of Security

San Diego, CA ' Veterans and active duty servicemembers whose personal information may have been stolen are being offered a salve ' credit monitoring - which is a feel good response, but provides a false sense of security. When it comes to identity theft prevention measures, relying on credit monitoring is similar to placing only one smoke detector in a three story home.

The San Diego based Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), which certifies credit report reviewers and identity theft risk management specialists, cautions potential victims to carefully review and understand the limitations of credit monitoring. Credit monitoring will not alert the consumer if someone has obtained a driver's license, birth certificate, Social Security card, or used their name during interactions with law enforcement, resulting in arrest warrants or erroneous criminal records.

Most credit monitoring services only monitor one bureau. Some provide an initial three-bureau report on the first order, and then revert to monitoring only one. Many creditors report to the bureaus only once a-month or quarterly. In cases involving utility accounts, it may never be reported until after it has been sent to collections. With very rare exceptions, credit monitoring does not monitor specialty-reporting companies or check verification companies.

Credit monitoring will not report to the victim in a timely fashion, if at all, when an identity thief has taken a job using the victim's name and Social Security number -- in some States, this type of employment fraud approaches one-third of all identity theft cases -- and causes significant financial cost, unexpected tax consequences, and embarrassment to the victim.

ICFE urges 'opting-out' of pre-screened credit offers, placing 'Fraud Alerts' on credit files, and instituting a credit 'Freeze' where available. Fraud alerts are temporary (90-day) intended to alert potential credit issuers the consumer is or may be a victim of fraud. Credit freezes prevents most third parties from accessing the consumer's credit file. States permitting all consumers to request a credit file freeze are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.  States that permit only ID theft victims to request freeze are Hawaii, Kansas, South Dakota, Texas and Washington.


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.

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