In honor of Military Consumer Protection Day, we're hoping to raise awareness for the unique consumer threats facing the military community.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 09, 2013
Scambook, the Internet's leading complaint resolution platform, is issuing an advisory for military service members and their families as part of Military Consumer Protection Day on July 17, 2013. Due to factors such as reassignment to new cities’ bases, as well as long periods of overseas deployment, service members are at an increased risk of identity theft as compared to the general public.
"In honor of Military Consumer Protection Day, we're hoping to raise awareness for the unique consumer threats facing the military community," said Kase Chong, Scambook's Director of Marketing. "Identity theft in particular poses a serious risk, but the good news is military personnel and their families can easily protect themselves by being proactive."
To protect private information and avoid being the victim of identity theft, Scambook cautions consumers to take the following actions:
1. Place an "Active Duty Alert" on credit reports when deployed overseas. This makes it very difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in the service member's name. An Active Duty Alert lasts for one year, but can be renewed.
2. Review credit reports regularly. Military service members and their families, similarly to the general public, may receive a free credit report every 12 months by visiting annualcreditreport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228. By reviewing credit reports, military consumers can catch any suspicious or fraudulent activity early in order to quickly resolve it.
3. Guard all private personal and financial information online. If sending private information while shopping or completing identification forms, be sure the website URL begins with "https". This means the site is encrypted and secure. Also always use a secure password protected Internet connection and avoid sending any private information over a public WiFi network.
In addition to the three above steps, Scambook is advising service members and their families to learn the red flags associated with identity theft. A military consumer may be the victim of identity theft if he or she experiences any of the following:
- Mistakes on bank statements, credit card bills or other financial accounts.
- Bills or collection notices for unfamiliar services or accounts.
- Applications for new lines of credit, loans or housing are unexpectedly denied.
- The IRS sends notifications that someone else has used the consumer's Social Security number.
If service members or their families observe any suspicious activity, especially the aforementioned, immediate action is advised to repair the potential damage caused by this identity theft.
Military consumers are directed to contact one of the three nationwide credit report companies to place an initial 90-day fraud alert, create an Identity Theft Report by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and notify local law enforcement.
Scambook also recommends that active duty personnel report the situation to their commanding officer for advice and support. This will alleviate the situation if bill collectors attempt to visit the service member's base due to fraudulent debts.
For more information, visit http://www.scambook.com/blog.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.