San Diego, CA. American businesses are
linking future business success to the continued growth
of consumer credit. More emphasis is on credit
scoring-used to price credit for both prime and
sub-prime borrowers, and the abundant increases in
credit lines are often linked to homeowner's equity.
There are unintended consequences to increased credit
use; chief among them is the dramatic and stunningly
persistent growth of credit fraud and identity theft.
And despite consumers being entitled to free credit
reports annually, their credit file errors remain high
and credit repair scams abound.
For the seventh year in a row, identity theft ranked
first in fraud complaints consumers filed with the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Identity theft accounts
for 36% of the 674,374 complaints received in 2006.
Credit card fraud was the most common form of reported
A recent Gartner Inc. study found that 15 million people
were victimized by some kind of fraud related to
identity theft during a year-long period and also found
that direct financial loss due to identity theft fraud
more than doubled from 2005 to 2006. Correspondingly,
both the average loss on new account fraud and the
amount of unauthorized charges to credit cards increased
during the year.
Other results show the rapidly growing need for
professionals to learn about credit reports and the laws
that govern them. They also need to learn risk
management techniques and how to protect customers,
clients and consumers against the predations of credit
and identity thieves.
An entirely new growth industry has arisen in training
financial, legal, privacy and other professionals who
can help consumers and businesses, and work more closely
with law enforcement.
One element missing until recently is a standardized
credential in identity theft risk management and credit
reporting/reviewing that can be recognized and relied
upon by consumers, businesses and even law enforcement
professionals. The Institute of Consumer Financial
Education (ICFE) has bridged that gap with its two
The ICFE's courses, accepted for CE credits with many
major organizations, on credit reports and reviews, plus
identity theft risk management, guide students in
exploring the complexity of these issues and how they
can negatively impact and harm consumers.
Getting the ICFE Certified Credit Report Reviewer (CCRR)
and/or the Certified Identity Theft Risk Management
Specialist (CITRMS) credentials are now becoming
essential for all credit, debt, privacy specialists,
financial and insurance counselors who are working with
the public because it gives consumers peace of mind
their advisor is up to date on these important issues.
The nonprofit ICFE has examined and issued credentials
to over 5,000 individuals, including privacy
consultants, law enforcement, military counselors,
lawyers, paralegals, financial planners and credit
counselors, real estate agents and mortgage brokers
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.