• The less your credit information is sold around to companies, the less likely are your chances of identity theft.
  • 1. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. When you call this toll-free number or visit the website, you will be asked to provide certain personal information, including your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is confidential, and will be used only to process your request to opt out. Don’t enter any personal information until you have checked for indicators that the site is secure – a lock icon on your browser or a web address that begins https.

    Opting out of prescreened offers does not affect your ability to apply for credit or to get it. Your opt out request will be processed within five days, but it may take up to 60 days before the prescreened offers stop coming. If you have a joint mortgage, both parties need to opt out to stop the prescreened offers. If or when you want to opt back in, use the same telephone number or website.

    2. Put your phone number on the federal government’s National Do Not Call Registry to reduce the telemarketing calls you get at home. To register your phone number or to get information about the registry, visit www.donotcall.gov, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register. You will get fewer telemarketing calls within 31 days of registering your number. Your number stays on the registry for five years, until it is disconnected, or until you take it off the registry.

    That said, the FTC wants you to know that many companies use other tools to identify marketing prospects, and that the Do Not Call Registry won’t shield you from all telemarketers – for example, those with which you have a business relationship. Even if you opt out of prescreened offers and put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, you can expect some unsolicited offers.

    Remove your personal information from public databases.

    For more information about the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the law that spells out the terms under which companies can check credit reports, visit www.ftc.gov/credit.

    The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.