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Tired of all that pesky junk mail? Opt-out!

on Thursday, 19 May 2011. Posted in Identity Theft

Did you know when you apply for credit with a company, and they pull your credit report, your name and address is then sold by the credit reporting agency to various credit companies to pre-approve you for their product or service?  These offers of credit are often called “trigger leads” or “prescreen offers”.  When a credit report is requested from the credit agencies it is flagged and a “lead” is created.  These leads are generated daily so the companies purchasing them know that the information is current.  Your name, address and phone number is then sold to marketing, credit card, mortgage and insurance companies as “trigger leads” or “prescreen offers”.

I know what you are thinking, this has to be illegal, right?  According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the consumer credit reporting companies are allowed to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make firm offers of credit or insurance that are not initiated by you.  A firm offer of credit being a pre-approval or guarantee of  credit from that creditor or insurer.  The FCRA also stipulates that these creditors or insurers must also provide  you with the right to “Opt Out” or prohibit the making of such solicitations, thus preventing consumer credit reporting companies from providing your credit file information for firm offers of credit.

So how do you “Opt-Out” or prevent these unsolicited credit offers?  There are three organizations you may contact to “Opt-out”.  First, visit www.optoutprescreen.com or call (888) 567-8688.  This is the only organization authorized by Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion that consumers may utilize to opt-out of firm offers of credit or insurance.  Next, register your name and telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov.  This will stop you from receiving unsolicited phone calls.  Last, if you are tired of receiving direct mail in general, contact The Direct Marketing Association (DMA).  This association maintains a Mail Preference Service that lets you opt out of receiving direct mail marketing from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service, your name will be put on a “delete” file and made available to direct-mail marketers.  However, your registration will not stop mailings from any organizations that are not registered with DMA’s Mail Preference Service.  To register with DMA visit www.dmachoice.org/MPS.  

WCCU is concerned about the safety of our member’s personal information.  We do not facilitate, condone or perpetuate the sale of our members personal information for any reason other than what is required by law.    

Not only does taking these actions stop pesky sales calls and “junk” mail but they help reduce your risk of identity theft and help protect your privacy.

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