Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina (BBB) has recently received multiple calls from consumers who want to know how they can stop receiving pre approved credit and insurance offers in the mail.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumer credit reporting companies are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make offers of credit or insurance that are not initiated by you. Some consumers favor these preapproved offers because they learn of opportunities not available to the general public.
Some consumers prefer to opt-out of these offers to protect their identity. Fewer creditors and insurers have access to your credit file if you choose to opt-out. However, there is confusion surrounding which agency provides the option to “opt-out” and what personal information is required in order to successfully opt-out of future offers.
BBB advises consumers to consult OptOutPrescreen, a joint venture among the four consumer credit reporting companies that provides consumers the option to “opt-in” or “opt-out” of credit or insurance offers.
Requests to “opt-in” or “opt-out” can be made by phone at 888-567-8688 or online, which is the only website for this purpose under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you decide to opt- out of credit offers over the phone or online, you will be asked to provide certain personal information including your SSN, telephone number and date of birth.
BBB offers additional tips to consumers who want to safely opt-out of credit card offers:
Be careful of unsolicited “opt-out” offers. OptOutPrescreen will not contact consumers via email, telemarketing or direct mail solutions.
Be cautious of request for banking information or credit card numbers. If you decide to opt-out of credit offers over the phone or online, you will be asked to provide certain personal information including your telephone number, SSN and date of birth. Be cautious if anyone asks for your bank account information or an existing credit card number.
Know how to spot an imposter. Both the OptOutPrescreen phone number and website are operated collectively by TransUnion, Experian, Equifax and Innovis. If you speak with someone claiming to be associated with a different company, be cautious. Also be careful of scammers that imposter your bank or credit card company, as they are not authorized to remove your name on lists used by creditors to send preapproved offers. Only the four consumer credit reporting agencies can do that through OptOutPrescreen.