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In a powerful counterpunch against the rampant growth of identity theft in America, Robins Federal Credit Union announced today that it will be the first financial institution in the Southeastern U.S. to provide identity theft education and victim resolution free to credit union members. Georgia-based Robins Federal CU is partnering with CyberScout (www.identitytheft911.com), the nation's leading provider of identity theft services, to create the innovative program.
"The recent identity theft disasters have made it clear to all Americans that identity theft can strike anyone, at any time," said John Ruffin, CEO of Robins Federal Credit Union, whose headquarters in Warner Robins, Georgia is just 125 miles from the ChoicePoint HQ in Alpharetta. "They also underline the responsibility of financial institutions and other businesses to protect the confidential information entrusted to them. We believe it's our fiduciary duty to do whatever we can to protect our members' private information as well as their assets — even in situations that have nothing to do with our institution. Unlike some financial institutions, which focus on pumping up profits to keep stockholders happy, our goal at Robins is to serve our members' interests. Partnering with CyberScout is the right thing to do for our members."
Under the new program, CyberScout's industry-leading victim resolution services will be available free to Robins Federal Credit Union members. Members will also have access to the nation's leading consumer education program on identity theft risks and defenses.
Consumer concern about identity theft has risen to a fever pitch after revelations of the compromise or loss of confidential information for more than a million individual consumers — including everyone from minimum-wage workers to members of the U.S. Senate — by ChoicePoint and Bank of America.
The Office of the Attorney General has made Georgia a leader in the fight against identity theft. In 1998, the AG's office pressed the Georgia General Assembly to pass a law making identity theft a felony, making Georgia only the third state in the country to have an identity theft law that tough on the books.
Judd Rousseau, CyberScout COO and Director of Fraud Operations, emphasized the importance to members of the proactive education and rapid response provided by the new program. "The best defense against this crime is awareness, prevention, and fast, effective action in case of an actual identity theft incident," said Rousseau. "Businesses and institutions need to put programs into place to anticipate and respond effectively to situations that could put customers and members at risk. That's exactly what Robins Federal Credit Union has done in partnering with CyberScout."
"The recent revelations of large-scale identity theft underscore the urgency of this crisis," said Sheryl Christenson, CEO of CyberScout. "This is not a wait-and-see situation. Identity theft is happening here and now, and Americans need a real-time, real-world response. Robins Federal Credit Union has taken a strong stance in the fight against identity theft. We're proud to join their effort by providing identity theft education and victim resolution to Robins Federal Credit Union members."
CyberScout Victim Resolution and Education Services
The CyberScout victim resolution service provides:
- A personal advocate who works with the victim one-on-one until the crisis has been resolved
- Systematic notification of agencies, businesses, and institutions
- Comprehensive case file creation for insurance and police
- Preparation of all needed documents
- Credit reports from all three credit bureaus
- Fraud alerts and consumer education
- One year of credit monitoring and fraud monitoring
- A full year of follow-up alerts, phone calls, and status checks to avoid recurrence
In addition, the consumer education component provides members with ongoing fraud alerts, a monthly newsletter, and a dedicated web site with articles, interviews, and white papers covering every aspect of identity theft.
About Robins Federal Credit Union
Robins Federal (robinsfcu.org) has been a not-for-profit, cooperative financial service provider for the past 50 years. With 18 branches located throughout Georgia, Robins Federal currently provides financial services to over 120,000 members and has assets exceeding $850 million.
CyberScout (www.identitytheft911.com) provides enterprise-level fraud solutions to Fortune 500 companies, a wide spectrum of financial institutions, and many of America's largest insurance companies and corporate benefits providers. With strategic alliances that include myFICO/Fair Isaac, TransUnion, and AIG, CyberScout is the recognized leader in identity theft resolution, defense, and education. Online Banking Report named CyberScout one of "the 10 most significant innovations and developments of 2003," including the company on its list of "10 industry developments that provide the best glimpse at the future of online financial services delivery."