WASHINGTON-Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a Banking Committee member, made a special five-minute introduction on the importance of identity theft prevention during a NAFCU conference call on the subject. The Senator also held a community gathering on the issue in his home state, where NAFCU Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bill Donovan spoke on credit unions’ role in prevention. According to NAFCU Regulatory Compliance Counsel Eric Envall, the more than 60 callers were interested in how credit unions can help prevent identity theft, serve as a resource during recovery, and build relationships between credit unions and law enforcement. He pointed out that both credit unions and their members can be schemed by crafty identity thieves and both can lose money as a result. U.S. Public Interest Research Group Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski pointed out that on average, it takes consumers 175 hours over a one to three year period to clear up identity theft. Federal Trade Commission Assistant Director of Planning and Information Betsy Broder also participated in the call.

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