July 30th, 2008
How many pre-approved credit card offers do you get in a month? Don’t know. I’m not surprised. I get several every week. I learned today that these companies submit requests to the credit bureaus for, let’s just say people with a credit score higher than 600. You want to what the credit bureaus do with that request? They fulfill it! That’s right. Your information, my information, your moms information is available for the asking. Then they send you all this crap mail.
It appears that there is a way to Opt-Out of receiving these pre-screened or preapproved credit card, and insurance offers. The web site is: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/ They ask for your name, address, Social Security number and birth date. You are only required to provide your name and address. You do not have to provide your SSN or birth date. They say that they would be used to make sure they opt-out the right person.
Of course I didn’t trust it when I first saw it. So I did a little checking. The main reassuring piece of information that I found was a reference to this web site on the FTC.gov web site. I also found an article written about the service that talked about some of the same concerns that I had. Let me just say that I don’t have in-depth knowledge of this organization and therefore cannot endorse it. I find enough information to make me comfortable enough to submit our information to opt-out. Now the real measure is the see how much less crap mail we get. Maybe we can save a tree or two.
Edit: I forgot to mention the fact that fewer of these preapproved applications could reduce your chance of identity theft. What happens to that application when you throw it in the trash? Anyone could get it and submit it. I’m sure there a place to change the address on there. (hint: shred everything!)