Reducing unwanted, pre-approved credit card offers may help protect you from credit card fraud.
According to Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti, your mailbox provides criminals with a low-tech method of opening a line of credit in your name.
Thieves can intercept pre-screened credit offers, fill out the application, mail it back and wait for the cards to arrive in your mailbox.
Consumer credit reporting companies make it easy to stop unwanted credit offers by spending a few moments online or by telephone.
TransUnion, EquiFax, Experian and Innovis have created a website called OptOutPreScreen.com, which allows consumers to remove themselves from lists of pre-screened credit card and insurance offers for a period of five years or permanently.
OptOutPreScreen.com requires you to provide your Social Security number and date of birth as part of the process. You also can make your request by telephone at 1-888-567-8688. If you receive an unsolicited email offering you a link to the OptOutPreScreen website, do not click on it. It might be a phishing scam. Instead, type in http://OptOutPreScreen.com and look for “https.” The “s” indicates you are connected to a secured server.
It is just as easy to stop unwanted catalogs, other marketing materials and legitimate telemarketing calls:
The Do Not Call Registry: The government website http://www.DoNotCall.gov allows you to register telephone numbers to have them removed from telemarketing lists.
Some entities are exempt from the Do Not Call Registry, including political parties, charities and public opinion polling companies. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous telemarketers and scammers do not respect the Do Not Call rules. In many cases they block caller ID systems, however, if you do see a telephone number from an illegal caller, you may file a complaint at www.donotcall.gov. You also may register by calling 1-888-382-1222.
DMAChoice.org: You can stop a great deal of unwanted marketing mail by contacting the Direct Marketing Association at http:www.dmachoice.org. The DMA charges one dollar for the service, and its website offers helpful tips to get your name and address off mailing lists.
Catalogs: Consumers can stop delivery of catalogs by calling the retailer or mailing the label and asking to be removed from their mailing list.
You can find more helpful consumer tips at http://www.ct.bbb.org.
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Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at www.bbb.org.