Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons urging the protection of active duty military consumers by implementing free credit monitoring through the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.
The bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act provides regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions that are significant sources of capital in rural and underserved communities, helping businesses start and grow, enabling farmers to get loans and helping families achieve homeownership. The bill also continues to hold Wall Street banks accountable by reining in predatory and reckless behavior. A provision included in the legislation, authored by Carper and Coons, requires credit reporting agencies to offer their electronic monitoring services to all active duty service members free of charge.
According to the FTC, servicemembers have their identity stolen nearly twice as much as the general population. In 2016, the FTC received more than 34,000 identity theft complaints from military members, the second highest complaint filed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has also reported complaints from active duty military personnel whose credit reports were harmed due to identity theft.
“Active duty servicemembers have sacrificed to serve our country, and we know they are disproportionately targeted for identity theft,” wrote the senators. “The least we can do is give these brave men and women the tools necessary to protect their financial well-being while they are fighting on our behalf.”
“With data breaches and identity theft on the rise in recent years, and with our military personnel particularly vulnerable to these threats, it is more important than ever to ensure our servicemembers have access to credit monitoring services,” the senators continued.
Carper and Coons also urged the FTC to shield service members from unsolicited marketing and conclude the rulemaking process expeditiously.
The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2sI52Gn.