Richard L. Gregg
This week represents National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), which is a coordinated campaign across the Federal Government that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions. To commemorate NCPW, President Obama noted that “we are also committed to helping consumers avoid scams, protect their personal information, and make good financial decisions.”
As the U.S. Department of the Treasury makes the switch to all-electronic benefit payments we want to take this opportunity to once again encourage beneficiaries to be mindful of identity theft and to protect against fraud. The move to electronic payments provides federal benefit recipients with a safer, more secure, and more convenient way to access federal benefits. Electronic payments also help protect against financial crimes. Beneficiaries are 125 times more likely to have a problem with a paper check than with an electronic payment.
Beneficiaries can be proactive and take steps to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft. In a recent public service announcement, Treasury and our partners at the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provided recommendations to keep your money safe. In the video, SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue and VA Deputy Secretary Scott Gould are raising awareness of scams and helping to educate Americans on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and fraud:
In the spirit of NCPW, please take a minute to read more on steps that beneficiaries and all Americans can take to safeguard their money.
Richard L. Gregg is the Fiscal Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.