Are you the victim of never-ending mailing solicitations that go straight to the shredder? (Notice, I said shredder and not trash!) A lot of the junk mail you receive comes from credit bureaus since they are the ones who give other companies a glimpse of your credit history. Yes, that’s right….the same people who sell you a credit score are also making money from the “other side” by selling your information to marketing companies. Did you know that you can opt-out of pre-approved credit card offers, eliminate junk mail and protect against identity theft in just a few minutes? Here is how to do it.
Now you can go to one place to have your name removed from the lists that Experian, Equifax, Innovis, and TransUnion (all credit reporting agencies) sell to businesses to offer you credit or insurance products. All you have to do is go to www.optoutprescreen.com to sign up for a 5-year Opt-Out request (You will need to print the confirmation once completed, sign it, and mail it in for a permanent Opt-Out request).
This request will take place within 5 business days, but you may still receive more junk mail for several more months since your name has already been provided to some of the solicitation companies, but you should see a substantial improvement within several months or the first year.
Do yourself and the environment a favor, and opt-out!
Opt-Out of Telephone Solicitations
If you also want off annoying telemarketing calls, the federal government has established the Do Not Call Registry to take you off the list of people who telemarketers can call. This should substantially reduce the number of telemarketing calls you get at home. It can take up to 31 days to process the information but after that you shouldn’t be receiving nearly as many calls. You can also register your cell phone number as well as a home phone number. Once your phone number is entered, it is only removed if you disconnect or reassign the phone number. Now you’ll only get the calls you want…..well, unless your annoying ex still has your number!
Protect Your Identity
Mailings can be a common way for thieves to steal your identity. Identity thieves will especially look for any “pre-approved” offers (i.e. credit cards, mortgage loans, etc.) Make sure when you do receive junk mail that you shred anything with your name, contact info, and any sensitive personal information on it and make sure it’s a cross-cut shredder.
The Federal Trade Commission (commonly referred to as the FTC) has more information on how to get off telemarketing, mailing, and email solicitation lists as well as loads of information on identity theft. Visit http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt063.shtm to find out more and file a complaint if needed. Go ahead and take the next five minutes to save yourself from annoying calls and mailings!
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