## How Can I Stop Getting Financial Advertising like Credit Pre-approval Letters?
It has never been more likely for a fraudster to remotely use a credit card in your name and cause you financial and personal havoc, according to the Federal Reserve. While the Federal Reserve noted that identity theft traced to pre-approved offers in the mail was smaller than other identity theft by other means, it is still a risk that can be conveniently managed by simply opting out of receiving such mail.
To opt out of receiving pre-approved credit card offers in the mail, go to https://www.optoutprescreen.com/ and scroll down until you see "CLICK HERE TO OPT-IN OR OPT-OUT" or call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688). This service allows you to remove your name from the lists supplied to credit card companies and insurers by the three nationwide credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and another credit company, Innovis. Once you see the following, select an option and fill in the required information:
-Opt-in: Your name will be eligible for inclusion on lists used for Firm Offers of credit or insurance
-Electronic Opt-out for 5 years: Your name will not be eligible for inclusion on lists used for Firm Offers of credit or insurance for five years.
-Permanent Opt-Out by Mail: Your name will no longer be eligible for inclusion on lists for Firm Offers of credit or insurance (In order to complete your Permanent Opt-Out election, you must print and mail the Permanent Opt-Out Election Form.)
When you call or visit optoutprescreen.com, you will be asked for your personal information, including your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. Sharing your Social Security number and date of birth is optional, and the service will attempt to process your request even without it. However, the website says that giving this information can help them ensure that they can successfully process your request and that the information you give is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt-out.
“Opting out” in the way shown above may not stop all unwanted mail as it will not affect credit card offers from companies that do not use lists compiled by the nationwide credit bureaus. To target these other sources, visit The Direct Marketing Association's website (https://www.dmachoice.org/register.php) and fill in the required information, or download and print their application to submit by mail (note the $2-3 processing fees for each option). Requests to opt-out are good for ten years.
If you opt-out, your name will no longer appear on lists provided by credit bureaus. However, card issuers can still solicit you if they have done business with you before or they get your name from other sources and send you invitations to apply for a card.
**If the mail does not stop**
If the mail does not stop consider lodging a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Keep in mind however that many companies only update their mailing lists quarterly, according to PrivacyRights.org. Allow at least three months for your junk mail pile to shrink before you contact the FTC.
As always, submit a request if you have any questions or would rather have us do all the work for you.