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ICFE eNEWS #19-03 - January 25th  2019

Federal Shutdown is No Holiday for Identity Thieves
By Yan Ross, Director of Special Projects, ICFE

As the federal shutdown enters its second month without a resolution in sight, the effects on consumers, businesses and non-profits are being felt more directly. Not only are the furloughed workers and their families affected, but the citizens they normally serve are beginning to experience the lack of support from these "non-essential" federal agencies.

Identity thieves, and other cyber criminals, on the other hand, are taking advantage of the void in reporting, tracking, compliance, and enforcement activities of agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As readers will know, the FTC is the repository for identity theft reports and enforcement against such modalities used by criminals as violations of the Do Not Call list.

Nearly all professional advice on the first steps to take in the event of discovering an identity theft incident includes contacting the FTC to file an identity theft report. In addition to filing a police report, the ability to demonstrate prompt action by the affected party may help support insurance claims and other remedies to restore the integrity of the person's identity.

At the time of this writing, the FTC's reporting web site shows a shutdown message:
"Due to the government shutdown, we are unable to offer this website service at this time. We will resume normal operations when the government is funded."

On the prevention and risk management side, consumers and businesses are advised to undertake a current review of all employee training and software updates. Even though this should be normal practice, the lack of federal government support emphasizes the need for up-to-date awareness of scams and social engineering, as well as cyber-attacks, by would-be identity thieves.

Regardless of how long the federal shutdown continues, the best course in the private sector is to stay the course on identity theft and cybersecurity risk management.

For additional resources on specific ways to address this challenge, ICFE directs your attention to the Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist® (CITRMS®) XV course and the CITRMS® Textbook and Desk Reference, available online.

Yan Ross Bio PhotoYan Ross is ICFE's Director of Special Projects, and the author of the Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist ® XV CITRMS® course. As an accredited educator for over 20 years, he has addressed Identity Theft Risk Assessment and management for consumers, organizations holding personally identifiable information, and professionals who work with individuals and organizations who are at risk of falling victim to identity thieves.

The ICFE's Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist ® XV CITRMS® course is now available both in printed format and online.

The Textbook and Desk Reference edition of the course book is also available online. Bulk pricing and discounts for veterans and students available. Inquire at yan.ross@icfe.info

Paul S Richard PhotoICFE eNEWS is available FREE upon request by visiting our Web site and filling out the contact form, and selecting "Yes" for "Add to Mailing List. Please pass this eNEWS on to your peers and interested others and invite them to subscribe for free. Also, visit the ICFE's new Web site: StudentDebtHelp.org

Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

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 and founder of the College for Financial Planning in Denver, CO.) The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending practices, 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 financial continuing education courses programs and resources. In addition to eight Certification courses covering identity theft, credit files, credit repair and credit scoring, among others, it also 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 is a partner with the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves and Military Saves, both offshoots of America Saves.

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.

The ICFE 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 library, a free eNews service, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools in the ICFE Book Store.

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