U.S.

April 5, 2012

Active duty alerts help protect military personnel from identity theft

Office of the Staff Judge Advocate
jag-logo

The last thing someone wants to worry about while on deployment is someone assuming their identity to commit financial fraud. Now, people don’t have to. Amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act allow those in the military to place an “active duty alert” in their credit report. According to the Federal Trade Commission, one of the agencies that enforces the FCRA, the alert requires creditors to verify an individual’s identity before granting credit in their name.

A credit report contains information on where a person lives, how they pay bills, and whether they’ve been sued, arrested or filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in a credit report to creditors, insurers, employers and other businesses that use it to evaluate applications for credit, and a host of other activities, including insurance, employment or renting a home.

A credit report can be a tool to help a person guard against “” or discover “” identity theft, which occurs when someone uses personal information “” such as a name, Social Security or credit card numbers “” to commit fraud. Identity thieves may use this information to open a new credit card account in a person’s name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on an individual’s credit report. Inaccurate or fraudulent information could affect a person’s ability to get credit, insurance or housing, now or in the future. People whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years cleaning up the mess the thieves have made of their names and credit records.

Those who are a member of the military and away from their usual duty station may place an “active duty alert” on their credit report to help minimize the risk of identity theft while deployed. When a business sees the alert on the credit report, it must verify a person’s identity before issuing them credit.

The business may try to contact people directly, but if on deployment, that may be impossible. As a result, the law allows those deployed to use a personal representative to place or remove an alert. Active duty alerts on a credit report are effective for one year, unless people request the alert be removed sooner. If deployment lasts longer, a person may place another alert on their report.

To place an “active duty” alert, or to have it removed, call one of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies, Equifax, Experian or Trans Union. The company will require the requestor to provide appropriate proof of identity, which may include Social Security number, name, address and other personal information.

Contact only one of the three companies to place an alert “” the company is required to contact the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of the credit report, as well. If contact information changes before the alert expires, remember to update it.

When someone places an active-duty alert, their name will be removed from the nationwide consumer reporting companies’ marketing lists for prescreened offers of credit and insurance for two years “” unless the requestor asks that their name be placed on the lists before then. Prescreened offers “” sometimes called “preapproved” offers “” are based on information in a credit report that indicates an individual meets certain criteria set by the offeror.

To learn more about identity theft and credit rights under the FCRA and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, visit ftc.gov/credit.

The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and provides information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1.877.FTC.HELP (1.877.382.4357). Watch a video, “How to File a Complaint,” at ftc.gov/video to learn more. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Army IMCOM photo by Amanda S. Rodriguez

Civilian mentor program shapes Army installation management’s future

U.S. Army IMCOM photo by Amanda S. Rodriguez U.S. Army Installation Management Command mentors and mentees work on teambuilding skills, building a block tower in total silience, during the IMCOM Headquarters Centralized Mentori...
 
 
DoD

DFAS reminds DoD employees to review tax withholdings

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service gave U.S. Department of Defense employees a friendly reminder to review withholdings from their paycheck, in an email last week. If a large tax refund was received or you owed a large amount in taxes during the recent tax season, you may need to look over your federal and...
 
 

Odierno: Information, instability travel at similar speeds

ASPEN, Colo. – As the world has become more interconnected and information travels faster than ever before, it also has become more unpredictable and dangerous, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said here last night. “People now understand more about what other people might have, what they might want, how much control they want...
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Post children attend Vacation Bible School week

Gabrielle Kuholski Pictured with the microphone, Colleen Sherod, 20, Vacation Bible School volunteer, emcees a review of the week’s religious lessons as VBS students hold up posters of their “Bible buddies.” The activity ...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

Seifert School-Age Center offers fun for kids, piece-of-mind for parents

Maranda Flynn Selene Ferro, 9, Jaliah Eldridge, 7, and Malachi Bergstrom, 7, build a puzzle train city in the creative play area of the first through third grade room at the Seifert School-Age Center. Creative play allows child...
 
 

Coronado National Forest fire crew assists with Oregon firefighting efforts

TUCSON, Ariz. – An initial attack firefighting crew from the Coronado National Forest has been assigned to firefighting duties on the Logging Unit Fires north of Warm Springs, Oregon. Coronado Crew 5 was ordered as a firefighting resource on July 16, 2014. The crew departed July 17, arriving at the fires on July 18. Crew...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin