Certified Identity Theft
Risk Management Specialist - CITRMS® XV
Qualifies for Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEs, CEUs)
and Professional Development Units
What to expect from this comprehensive program
This CITRMS® XV Certification program comes from the award winning
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), headquartered in San
Diego, CA. The ICFE's other recognized Certification Programs are for
Certified Credit Report Reviewer – CCRR®, Certified Consumer Debt
Collection Compliance Specialist – DCCS™, Certified Credit Scoring
Specialist – CCSS™ and Certified Personal Finance Instructor for The
Money Instruction Book – MIBIC™, among many others. Over 7500
professionals have earned an ICFE Certification(s) since 2004. The ICFE
programs are accepted for continuing education credits by a wide variety
of state governmental regulatory agencies and many professional
The ICFE is a recognized educator of both professionals and consumers
and has been publishing widely utilized financial educational materials
for over 33 years. The nonprofit ICFE was founded in 1982 by the late
Loren Dunton, known around the world as the founding father of the
financial planning profession - his having created the prestigious
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and also because he
founded the College For Financial Planning (Denver, CO).
The ICFE is an official partner with the Department of Defense's
Financial Readiness Campaign (since 2004) and numerous military
counselors have been certified.
The ICFE's Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist – CITRMS®
XV Independent Study Guide XV (ISG XV) and the CITRMS® XV examination
was written exclusively for the ICFE by Yan Ross, the ICFE's Director of
Special Projects and before that he practiced financial institutions law
for over 25 years.
The CITRMS® ISG XV is designed as self-study component with an open book
examination. The examination consists of 100 questions about the content
of the ISG XV, the appendix and the PDF Resource. 80 correct answers
(80%) are required for a passing grade and award of CEs and the award
of the Gold Sealed ICFE CITRMS® XV Certificate, which is suitable for
ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists – CITRMS® XV
prepares enrollees for a new focus as educators. CITRMS® XV are the
front line of defense for consumers and small business owners. They help
people learn how to access and manage their individual or small business
risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. Enrollees learn what an
actual review and assessment involves. It begins with looking at the
manner and method of receiving sensitive information, financial
statements and other data. Next they observe and review what is done
about safe and secure storage of sensitive information and, as
important, the methods used to disposing of these documents.
ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist – CITRMS® XV
are trained specifically about the consumer's bad habits and practices
which increase the risk of victimization. They are also trained and
tested in what techniques are required to keep that same risk as low as
possible. CITRMS® XV certificants insight, coupled with their knowledge
from this course equips them help protect people by lowering their risk
and save untold millions of dollars.
The ever-growing need for an ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk
Management Specialist - CITRMS® XV
Having an ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist -
CITRMS® XV professional review the handling of personal credit and
identity information for express purposes of guarding against and
reducing the risk of credit and identity theft is becoming as common as
an annual checkup with a physician and dentist. The criminals have
become so sophisticated in their techniques, deceptions and abilities to
cover their tracks that only utilizing a CITRMS® XV who has been trained
and examined in identity theft risk management could one day even rate a
discount with an insurer, because of the amount of time and money it
Small business owners have new responsibilities from the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau CFPB and also under the Fair and Accurate
Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). Small business owners are held liable
with penalties should they not protect the private medical, credit and
insurance information of their respective clients and retail customers.
Small businesses need the help professionally trained CITRMS® XV
individuals who are knowledgeable about the law and in the steps to take
to be in compliance, thereby avoiding becoming a victim themselves and
suffer legal penalties. ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management
Specialist - CITRMS® XV are now needed everywhere in America.
As the result of the huge data breaches, just in 2015, more and more
people are becoming aware of the importance of looking at their
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in their personal accounting
practices and in their medical and credit files. CITRMS® XV nationwide
are reviewing how people handle, dispose of and store their private
credit, financial and other important information. They provide useful
tips and techniques, learned in their CITRMS® XV training, on how to
minimize the risk of becoming a victim of credit and identity theft and
they are providing an invaluable service.
What is an ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist -
CITRMS® XV and what do they do?
The ICFE's growing list of Certified Identity Theft Risk Management
Specialist - CITRMS® XV is comprised of financial services industry
professionals, credit and debt counselors, military counselors,
financial planners, financial educators, credit issuers, CPAs, law
enforcement, notary publics, consumer advocates, paralegals and even
some lawyers have earned their ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk
Management Specialist - CITRMS® XV. They study using the Certified
CITRMS® Independent Study Guide XV (ISG XV) and pass the ISG XV
examination. The CITRMS® XV self-study course covers, in great detail,
issues related to credit and identity theft risk management and helping
Identity theft risk management reviews for small business owners are
more involved and include acquainting them with their new
accountabilities under the oversight of the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the FACTA law. They educate them what the
liability and penalties might be, should their present handling and
storage practices to lead to a breach of their clients or customers
credit and personal information. The ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk
Management Specialists - CITRMS® XV have been exposed to the latest
techniques of identity thieves operating on internet. They know how to
help small business owners protect, store and safely dispose of that
information once it reaches the office in printed form.
ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists - CITRMS® XV
are also knowledgeable about credit reports and as a result of their
CITRMS® XV training, they are up-to-date on the latest methods to detect
suspicious activity and more. CITRMS® XV are equipped to assist the
victim of identity theft helping them with Important identity theft
discovery techniques and prevention measures implemented and explained
to the during the review and assessment process.
Becoming an ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists -
CITRMS® XV is a way to help others and, perhaps, earn extra income at
the same time. It will also enable you to add a new and highly
beneficial service to your existing clients and use it to attract new
An ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist's - CITRMS®
XV efforts on behalf of a client could uncover identity theft that could
potentially cost a victim into the thousands of dollars and/or they may
discover an inaccuracy that depresses a credit score.
ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists - CITRMS® XV
may choose full-time or part-time, or even once or twice a week. Some
conveniently establish their own hours and work by appointment out of a
home office, in a client's home or at the location of the small
business. Advertising, marketing and prospecting may be conducted and
focused anywhere, because everyone can benefit from this very useful
Earn the respect of family, professional associates, clients and those
in the community you serve. Enjoy professional success while teaching
others about how to guard against America's number one financial crime,
credit and identity theft with an ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk
Management Specialist - CITRMS® XV certificate.
What does the enrollment package cost? $399.00** (includes 2-day Priority Mail)
**Multiple enrollment (two or more) discount is $25 per enrolled at the same time.
Learning Goals and Objectives
- Be familiar with the principal laws defining identity theft and
setting requirements for holders of identity theft related
- Know the common identity theft terms and define key
- Understand the magnitude and trends of reported incidents of
- Be able to list the various types of information vulnerable to
identity theft and where it is held.
- Know the main ways identity thieves gain access to sensitive
information and how they misuse it.
- Be familiar with the currently identified "Specialized Areas of
Concern," including technological developments and those listed by
demographic and activity categories.
- Understand the roles of the principal federal agencies responsible
for administering identity theft related laws and regulations.
- Know which agencies to contact in the event of identity theft, and
how to contact them.
- Know the steps consumers can take to minimize the risk of identity
theft, and what to do if a consumer learns his/her information has been
compromised in an identity theft incident.
- Identify methods of access to credit reports and credit scores, free
- Know the types of identity theft that usually do NOT show up in
- Be familiar with the main requirements for businesses to protect
sensitive customer information, to comply with applicable laws and
- Understand the requirements to notify affected individuals in the
event of a data breach, and know the most common means of helping them
minimize the adverse effects of such a breach.
- Understand the types and features of identity theft prevention and
resolution services for consumers and businesses.
- Be familiar with the considerations in deciding how to utilize third
party services to help manage the threat of identity theft.
ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist - CITRMS® XV
Caution Consumers to Scrutinize Identity Theft Services
Because they are not always what you thought you paid for
San Diego, CA - Massive data breaches, just in the first half of 2015,
have involved millions and millions of innocent and unsuspecting
consumers. These incidents are drawing significant national attention to
the crime epidemic of Identity Theft. Consumers nationwide are now
being bombarded with offers for credit monitoring, identity theft
insurance, identity theft protection, and a host of related fee-based
Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist - CITRMS® XV who are
certified by San Diego based Institute of Consumer Financial Education
(ICFE), cautions consumers to carefully review and understand the
limitations of any service offered in conjunction with identity theft.
This is a must-do in order to make an informed buying decision without
regard to any marketing spin.
Most of these services require an ongoing monthly service fee to perform
tasks that an informed consumer can and should easily do him or herself
generally at little, if any, cost. Many ID theft services companies
actually claim, without explaining how, their service protects or even
guarantees against identity theft. This is a marketing claim proven
wrong time and time again and also one that is clearly disputed by
privacy experts and consumer advocates alike.
The ICFE believes that consumers need to have the facts regarding such
services, and make informed decisions as to how they can manage and
reduce their own risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. The ICFE
reviewed the many areas where consumers may be misinformed of all the
facts as a result of marketing spin. These facts include:
Credit Monitoring Services
- Most credit monitoring services only monitor one bureau. Some services
provide an initial three-bureau report on the first order, and then
revert to monitoring only one. Consumers should carefully read the fine
print before signing up. While major accounts such as home and auto
loans are typically reported to all three bureaus, non-major account
creditors often report to only one bureau. If the service only monitors
one bureau, it will show only what is reported to that bureau and may
miss anything and everything else.
- Many creditors report to the bureaus only once per month or quarter,
and credit bureaus only report what is reported to them. Expensive daily
or weekly monitoring may provide early notice of inquiries, but many
potential credit grantors regularly make inquiries for pre-approved
offers, and inquiries often are not differentiated or explained. If an
account is opened, it may still be some time before it is reported. In
cases involving in-store or utility accounts, the account may never be
reported until after it has been sent to collections.
- With very rare exceptions, credit monitoring does not monitor
specialty-reporting companies, such as ChoicePoint, or check
- Credit monitoring will not alert the consumer if someone has obtained
a drivers license, birth certificate, Social Security card, or other
such documents in their name. It also will not alert the consumer if
someone has used their name during interactions with law enforcement,
resulting in arrest warrants or erroneous criminal records.
- Credit monitoring will not report to the victim in a timely fashion,
if at all, when an identity thief has taken a job using the victim's
name and Social Security number -- in some States, this type of
employment fraud approaches one-third of all identity theft cases, and
causes significant financial cost, inconvenience, and embarrassment to
Conclusion: Credit monitoring may be useful to alert the consumer that
an account has been opened in his or her name, but afterwards the task
of disputing the accounts and resolving the matter still falls squarely
on the consumer s shoulders. In most cases, experts contend that
consumers may be far better off ordering their reports themselves, and
staggering their requests throughout the year. FACTA-mandated free
reports are available in all fifty states. If the consumer is a victim
of fraud, or has been denied credit due to information on their credit
report, he or she can also obtain a copy of their report for free.
Other options available to consumers include opting-out of pre-screened
credit offers, Fraud Alerts , and credit freezes.
Fraud alerts are statements that may be included in the consumer s
credit report intended to alert potential credit issuers that the
consumer is or may be a victim of fraud. A fraud alert is temporary, 90
days in length; it may be extended, however, with the consumer s written
request, for up to seven years. Fraud alerts are sometimes completely
ignored, but an alert can stop many instant credit applications. The
alert should include a request for potential credit grantors to contact
the consumer directly at a specified number to confirm the legitimacy of
the application before any granting of credit.
Credit file freezes, now available to any consumer. Credit freezes are a
powerful tool that essentially prevent third parties from accessing the
consumer s credit file, until he or she instructs the credit bureaus to
unfreeze or "thaw" the report. This request can be general or only for
specific companies. To be effective, the consumer should place a freeze
on their file at each of the three bureaus. For non-victims, there is
typically a small charge imposed by the bureaus for each freeze and thaw
Identity Theft Insurance
- Insurance in this case is a bit of a misnomer, and is often presented
in a manner that may give consumers a false sense of security. Though it
may offer reimbursement of certain expenses, Identity Theft insurance
cannot protect a consumer from falling victim to the crime, and the fine
print typically imposes substantial restrictions on what expenses may be
eligible for reimbursement.
- Significant expenses, such as legal fees or time lost from work, often
require pre-approval. In many cases, the services of an attorney are not
required, though this is often presented as a key component of a policy.
- Identity theft "insurance" in most cases does not cover financial
losses from identity theft, only out-of-pocket expenses and limited
"lost work time" of the victim.
- Many policies have a significant deductible, such as $500 or more.
This means that in many cases, the policyholder bears all of the expense
despite having paid the premiums for insurance.
- Identity Theft insurance may reimburse or offset some of the costs of
resolving the incident, but in most cases it does not reduce the time
and hassle of the work required by the victim to resolve the incident.
If the deductible is zero, or very low for those policies providing
reimbursement for time lost from work, then the insurance may be worth a
premium of $25 to $45 annually. Consumers should read the fine print
very carefully, however, and pay close attention to exclusions,
restrictions, and claims requirements before signing up.
Identity Theft Protection Services
- Many companies offer Identity Theft protection and resolution services
for an ongoing fee. As recent events and data breaches make abundantly
clear, it is impossible for any ID theft service to prevent Identity
Theft. At best, a consumer can take reasonable precautions within their
own control to reduce or minimize their risk. However, in an
information-based society where countless organizations and persons have
access to confidential consumer personal and financial information,
consumers may easily fall victim through no fault of their own, other
than having done business with a particular organization.
- "Protection" and "Restoration" Services often have substantial
exceptions in the "small print" that carve out significant incidents,
such as where a family member of the victim is the perpetrator or even
knew of the identity theft incident.
- These companies charge fees to perform the task of cleaning up credit
report issues related to the incident on behalf of the victim. Services
typically range from $120 to over $200 if the customer is enrolled
before an incident happens. For those consumers that engage these
services after falling victim, if permitted at all, the costs often
range from $500 to $2500.
- These services involve tasks an informed consumer can easily do
themselves, such as writing letters, making telephone calls, and
disputing charges. In many cases, despite the fees involved, the
consumer must still do these items themselves. In order to perform these
services on behalf of the consumer, the companies generally require a
limited power of attorney in order to be able to act on the victim s
behalf. Regardless, many creditors may still require communication
directly with the consumer, rather than though a third party.
- The vast majority of these services are limited strictly to matters of
standard financial accounts, leaving the victim to struggle through
resolving liens and judgments, clearing erroneous criminal records,
duplicate licenses, and countless other non-financial account matters.
Often a simple kit is provided which consists of a few generic form
letters and a simple one page contact sheet.
- In many cases, identity thieves do not simply use their victim's
information and then throw it away. Thieves sell and trade this
information with other thieves. This means that once the initial
incident is resolved the victim can be, and often is, re-victimized in
the future. A new incident means a new case and new fees.
Identity Theft Risk Management
A scam artist's worst enemy is the informed consumer. With the help of
an ICFE Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist - CITRMS®
XV, the consumer education they make available is is the best way to
minimize risk of identity theft. Many consumers have little idea just
how incredibly simple and easy it is for thieves to steal their credit
information and identity.
Good record keeping and a commonsense approach to destroying personal
information before discarding will go a long way. The preferred method
of prevention, however, is education combined with guided assistance in
using the appropriate risk management tool.
Free resources are available to assist in learning and understanding of
their rights, and in resolving their incident. They include non-profit
consumer organizations such as
The Identity Theft Resource Center
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Federal Trade Commission
Conclusion: Informed consumers can reduce their own risk and resolve
their own Identity Theft incident without incurring ongoing monthly fees
or signing up for expensive and limited convenience services.
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CITRMS® is a registered trademark of the Institute of Consumer Financial
Education (ICFE), San Diego, CA
Independent Study Guide