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 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