How to Stop Unsolicited Prescreened Credit Card and Insurance Offers
If you’re like most people, you receive a fair amount of unsolicited offers for credit cards and insurance. While some of these offers may be tempting, the reality is that most of them are not a good deal for consumers.
It seems like every day, we get more and more unsolicited offers for credit cards and insurance. And while it might seem like fun to have a mailbox full of offers, the truth is that these offers are often nothing but a waste of time.
Companies can now get your credit score using an algorithm, which is how they know if you are trustworthy or not.
This has many people wondering why companies with whom one never applied for a job will be sending offers based on their findings.
Do these mailings actually help increase your chances of getting hired? And what should I do about it when this happens to me!?
These companies have your credit score and they’re mailing offers to you based on it, but how did that happen?
One important action to note is that if you receive credit cards and/or loan offers you do not want, do NOT just throw them away. That action is an identity thief’s dream.
Always shred these offers and throw away the shredded pieces in two different bags to ensure the offer is unretrievable for identity thieves.
You need to ensure no one can use any of your information to open any loans, accounts, or cards with any of your information.
These mailings seem more of a pain in the neck but they also are a waste of the senders’ money. They pay to have them printed and the rate of success is minimal in obtaining new customers. This is usually because most people just throw away these types of notices or recycle them as trash which means less exposure.
Such wasted marketing actually leaves a bad taste in consumers’ mouths. Businesses that over-market to potential customers actual can get blackballed by consumers. Sending unsolicited advertising can actually hurt a business.
Further, consumers are getting smarter now and sending batches of offers back to senders. This shows marketing and advertisers they are wasting money that could be going elsewhere. Such as lower rates for the services they offer such as insurance.
But the question remains: why are we getting such mailings as pre-approved offers we don’t want?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows businesses such as insurance, loans, and credit companies to obtain information about consumers such as which credit rating bracket a person may be in.
These inquiries are consumer reports. This soft-hit inquiry informs businesses of a general idea of your credit score. This enables businesses to pre-select, pre-determine, or pre-approve consumers to get their business.
Consumer Reporting Agencies engage in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties and use any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports according to Consumer Finance.
Even if you do not provide the information.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows some personal information to be used for business with Prescreened Consumer reports. This can include your name, social security number, and even credit card numbers.
These are detailed as:
Prescreened Consumer Reports. Users of consumer reports, such as financial institutions, may obtain prescreened consumer reports to make firm offers of credit or insurance to consumers unless the consumers elected to opt-out of being included on prescreened lists. The FCRA contains many requirements, including an opt-out notice requirement when prescreened consumer reports are used.
This gets further annoying because of the fact that soliciting is allowed to private U.S. citizens. Why is it legal to even solicit? Well, in order to understand how it is legal, we need to observe how the U.S. government has defined soliciting in an agreeable form for businesses to send us (un)solicited information:
Solicitation means the marketing of a product or service initiated by a person, such as a financial institution, to a particular consumer that is:
- Based on eligibility information communicated to that person by its affiliate; and
- Intended to encourage the consumer to purchase or obtain such a product or service.
Examples of solicitation include a telemarketing call, direct mail, email, or other forms of marketing communication directed to a particular consumer that is based on eligibility information received from an affiliate. A solicitation does not include marketing communications that are directed at the general public (e.g., television, general circulation magazine, and billboard advertisements).
When we opt-out of any future or (un)solicited marketing materials, most businesses don’t give us the ability to do so. This can be quite frustrating as an American citizen who relies on these third parties for information about products and services they offer but is unable to get direct access unless you’re in person.
Naturally, we wish it was the opposite that we choose to opt-in rather than be challenged to a fight of opting-out of having our personal information shared and sold.
Instead, here we learning how to actually opt-out of such annoying spam marketing.
You may have gotten an unsolicited offer in the mail that’s targeted at you because of your spending habits, but there are ways to get off these marketing lists!
We all want to be in control of our finances and this guide will help you do just that. It provides methods for opting out of marketing lists, along with other ways consumers can take charge by opting for something else entirely or limiting what companies send them mailings about new products/services, etc., depending solely upon individual preferences!
Opt Out Prescreen
Opt-Out Prescreen is a free service that allows you to remove yourself from credit card offers by calling 1-888 5 OPT OUT (1 888 567 8868). The companies providing this number hope it will lead to fewer unsolicited ads and pre-approved loans, so they provide information on how people can take their names off the list. You also have an opportunity of opting out online at www.optoutprescreen.com.
Opting out is easy! You can opt-out by phone or internet and you will automatically be signed up for 5 years, after which your information will again become available in circulation. If that’s not long enough then just visit www.optoutprescreen.com to permanently refuse offers from all companies. You’ll have to sign and mail in a printed form to opt out permanently–you will be sent the necessary form after you visit the website.
Junk Mail Opt Out
Direct Marketing Association has a service that allows you to opt-out of receiving unwanted advertising in the mail known as junk mail.
This registry lasts for five years and covers both postal mail as well electronic communication such that you won’t receive any more commercial emails from them unless it’s related directly or indirectly to what they do offer – which is why we recommend doing this first!
The best way would probably just involve going to www.dmachoice.org. It’s important they only apply if your membership has been verified through this organization for both postal and electronic mail opting-out.
Opting Out of Telemarketing
The best way to avoid receiving unwanted telemarketing calls is by putting your phone number on the national Do Not Call Registry. You can do this for free at 1-888-382-1222 or visit www.donotcall.gov to register now.
If you are calling the toll-free number, be sure to call from the phone number you want to be put on the do not call list.
Your number can be removed from the Do Not Call List at any time, or it will be removed automatically if your number is disconnected and assigned to someone new.
It’s important to remember that the Do Not Call rules do not apply to every telemarketer.
These exceptions can include Non-profits, charities, political organizations, polling companies, and anyone you have done business with recently.
The Do Not Call Registry also won’t stop scammers who are operating illegally or committing fraud (if they’re already criminals, the Do Not Call list won’t deter them). To file a complaint against someone who violates the Do Not Call list, call 1-888-225-5322 (888-CALL-FCC). You can also complain online at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us.
With the recent rise in data breaches, it’s more important than ever to protect your personal information. This includes both what you share with advertisers or service providers as well as how securely they store this sensitive material – which means making sure that any email account is encrypted when possible and utilizing strong passwords at all times!
We live in a digital age, and unfortunately, privacy is not always a top priority. Taking these few steps can help protect you from unwanted marketing mail by ensuring your data stays private!