ITRC Fact Sheet 133
The Military and Identity Theft

Checking Accounts 

The ITRC suggests that active duty personnel consider using online banking services in order to monitor and track bank account activity.   Please be aware of your environment (for example key loggers, spyware, shoulder surfing) when accessing accounts.

Placing an Active Duty Alert

An active duty alert is similar to a fraud alert in that it requires an inquiring creditor to verify that it is you who is attempting to open a line of credit. The difference is, unlike the 90 day fraud alert, this alert lasts for a year. Additionally, if you are deployed out of the country and cannot be contacted, you may appoint somebody you trust to act as your representative. 

Contacting CRAs by mail (see ITRC Solution SN 02 – CRA Contact Information)

  • Experian:  P.O. Box  9701, Allen, TX  75013-0949
  • Trans Union:  P.O. Box  2000, Chester, PA 19016
  • Equifax:  P.O. Box  740241, Atlanta, GA  30374-0441 

Send a letter asking for an Active Duty Fraud Alert to be placed and your credit report to be mailed to you (see ITRC Letter Form LF 133). Enclose the following items:

  • A copy of your driver’s license or state identification card
  • A copy of your Social Security card
  • A copy of your military identification card
  • A copy of your orders
  • A copy of a bill that shows your address of record, if address is different from the address on driver’s license or state identification card

Contacting Credit Reporting Agencies – Placing Alerts Online

Power of Attorney

Service members in the U.S. Military often consider granting a Power of Attorney to a spouse or a loved one before they are deployed. Although this can be a good idea, please be careful. 

Unfortunately, many service members have found out too late that the person they gave a General Power of Attorney to did not have their best interests in mind. They come home to find their bank accounts cleaned out, credit cards opened in their name, and other credit problems that are all legally possible due to a General Power of Attorney.

We suggest that you read the Explanation of Powers of Attorney put together by the Judge Advocate General office.  This document on Powers of Attorney covers issues like: how to stay safe when filing a POA, what you will need to grant a POA depending on POA category, and how to revoke it when you are ready to. The ITRC strongly suggests that you consult with the Judge Advocate General office for Command Legal Assistance prior to granting any Power of Attorney.

Resources

Identity Theft Resource Center

  • 24/7, Toll-free, no-cost victim assistance:  888-400-5530 (U.S. only)
  • www.idtheftcenter.org
  • ITRC Fact Sheet FS 124 – Fraud Alerts and Credit Freezes

Federal Trade Commission website: www.identitytheft.gov 

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0009-military-families

For further information visit the following links:

 

This fact sheet should not be used in lieu of legal advice. Any requests to reproduce this material, other than by individual victims for their own use, should be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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