The Red Flag Rule is an Identity Theft Program that many businesses and organizations must adopt. This is a Federal Government regulation that is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The Rule applies to "financial institutions" and "creditors." Under the Rule, the definition of "creditor" is broad, and includes businesses or organizations that regularly provide goods or services first and allow customers to pay later. Examples of groups that may fall within this definition are utilities, health care providers, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals, and telecommunications companies.
Yes. Utilities that regularly bill customers after they've received services fall within the statutory definitions of "creditor," and the Co-op is covered by the Rule.
Originally, the FTC deadline was November 1, 2008, but several extensions were granted to businesses. Now at the request of Members of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission is delaying enforcement of the “Red Flags” Rule until June 1, 2010, for financial institutions and creditors subject to enforcement by the FTC.
Some Electric utilities like Midstate are complying with Red Flag Rules.
Although implementing Red Flag rules have been frustrating for our members, there have been many positive things that the Co-op has benefited from. Some of the benefits from adopting the Red Flag policy are:
This is probably the most frequent question we have received. When working with customers over the phone or in person, we have to ensure the person we are helping is in fact you the account holder and not an imposter. In order to ensure no information about your accounts is given out to the wrong person, we need to ask your indentifying questions that only you would know.
Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives is a national network of electric cooperatives across 46 states that provides resources and leverages partnerships to help member cooperatives and their employees better engage and serve their members. By working together, Touchstone Energy cooperatives stand as a source of power and information to their 32 million member-owners every day.