By Kenneth A. Miller
February 24, 2006
Army News Service
WASHINGTON - A new DVD was launched by the Treasury Department
recently which advises consumers on how they can protect themselves
should they fall victim to identity theft.
Among the subject-matter experts who appeared on the video and were
recognized at a Treasury ceremony Jan. 26 was Special Agent Howard
Schmidt who serves with the CID Computer Crimes Investigative Unit
located at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Schmidt's job there has him conducting investigations involving
intrusions into Army computer networks and systems which lead to the
apprehension of those engaged in cyber crime.
"As part of my duties last summer with the CCIU, I was asked by the
Department of Treasury to assist in preparing this video aimed at
identity theft, prevention and investigation," Schmidt said. "The
experience of working with high-tech companies in the private sector,
along with the skills learned during my civilian career in the area of
cyber-security, provided me with the level of expertise I needed to
assist the Treasury Department."
Included on the DVD is a special segment providing information
specific to military personnel and helpful tips on preventing identity
theft for service members who are often in unique situations.
"The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 allows military
members away from their home duty stations to place an "active duty
alert" on their credit reports to help minimize the risk of identity
theft while deployed," Schmidt said. "When a business sees the alert,
it must verify the identity of the Soldier before issuing credit."
Schmidt also said that active duty alerts are effective for one year,
unless a request is made to remove it sooner. If a specific deployment
lasts longer, a Soldier may place another alert on their report.
Howard is often asked to assume key roles related to cyber security -
formulating national policy, steering strategic operations and
fostering innovation by academia. Schmidt voluntarily reported to
active duty to serve with CID and the Joint Task Force - Computer
Network Operations Law Enforcement Counterintelligence Center which
defends DOD computer networks as a result of the 9/11 attacks. In
December 2001, he was appointed to serve as the vice-chair of
President Bush's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board as a
"It was truly an honor to be nominated and appointed to serve in the
White House during a very critical time in our nation's history,"
Schmidt said. "Having the opportunity to serve as an IMA reserve
member of CID, I was able to provide the experience necessary to
perform this mission successfully."
Schmidt, who has been with the Army Reserve since 1989, also served
with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations as director of
Computer Crimes Investigations and information warfare before joining
CID. He was also a computer forensic specialist with the FBI at the
National Drug Intelligence Center and a policeman from 1982 to 1994
with the Chandler (Arizona) Police Department.
The video is available online by visiting:
Instructions for initiating an alert may be obtained from the Federal
Trade Commission's Web site at
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