Posts

Thank You Ft. Lewis and McChord Military Bases

It is the highest honor for me to be able to serve the United States military, who so valiantly and humbly serve every American. Just hours ago, I finished delivering an identity theft prevention speech to the soldiers and airmen of Ft. Lewis/McChord Military Installation in Tacoma, WA. Thanks to both bases, and to the Department of Defense for inviting me to speak with you.

During my speech, I promised to give you easy-to-complete action steps to protect your identity against theft, as well as that of your loved ones. I’d like to deliver on that promise by directing you to a full page article I’ve written specifically for you: The Military Identity Theft Protection Kit. If you have additional suggestions for protecting military IDs that I haven’t covered in this article, please include your comments at the bottom of the post. With your input, this conversation should contribute to the financial stability of our armed forces — Which is vital, because, as you are aware, financial readiness is mission readiness.

There were several questions that were asked after my speech was over that I wanted to address here:

  1. Does freezing your credit affect your ability to make charges on your credit card? Absolutely not! It only affects new accounts being set up (car loans, home loans, etc.) using your credit profile. It will not affect any existing accounts that you have. You will still be able to make purchases on your credit or debit card without any additional hassle.
  2. How do I protect my kids? I recommend that you simply monitor your kid’s credit reports, much like you would your own. I will do some research this weekend and will post the information sites to help you out with this by Monday.

Military Identity Theft Protection & Prevention Kit

Military personnel have unique and pressing reasons to pay extra attention to protecting themselves from military identity theft, as well as guarding the private data of their loved ones. For example:

  • Historically, the armed forces have used pieces of identity (including Social Security Numbers) to openly identify personal items, including: dog tags, military IDs, commission papers, pay checks and duffel bags. While this practice is being fazed out, it still increases the risk of identity theft among military personnel.
  • If a member of the military has their identity stolen while deployed (especially overseas), it is exceptionally difficult to recover from the crime in a timely and effective manner. Can you imagine trying to repair your credit rating from the streets of Iraq or prove your innocence to a collection agency while crouched in the bunkers of Afghanistan? To add insult to injury, returning from a tour to find that your credit has been destroyed and that you are wanted for crimes you didn’t commit can be overwhelming.
  • Our airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines can be called to duty in an instant. If financially unprepared, this leaves their families vulnerable to attack. It is imperative that we proactively protect not only ourselves, but our loved ones as well.
  • Protecting the privacy of our military is a national security concern. In the age of cyber-attacks and digital warfare, we cannot leave our fighting and peace-keeping personnel open to attack.

Because of these additional risks, it is imperative for our military personnel to implement the steps below to prevent military identity theft. Read more