Most people are aware of the Do Not Call Registry whereby you can block telemarketers and others from making unsolicited phone calls to your home. When they wrote this law, Congress saw fit to exempt themselves and their campaign fund raising operations from the law. As outrageous as that may be, it is not the subject of this article. To stop the telephone calls go to www.DoNotCall.gov/register/reg.aspx .
It is a lesser known fact that there is a “do not send” registry whereby you can block some of the junk mail from being sent to your address. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) limits the conditions under which consumer reports can be used to make prescreened offers. You can “OPT OUT” of receiving solicitations from credit card and insurance companies where these conditions are not met. Solicitors who have used consumer reporting services to determine your creditworthiness, will be precluded from sending offers to you in the mail. Only certain financial junk mail can be stopped, but any reduction of this stuff is worth the time it takes to make a phone call.
To opt out call 1-888-567-8688 (1-888-5-OPTOUT). You will be given the choice of opting out permanently or just for 5 years. Why anyone would choose to allow unwanted solicitations to resume after 5 years is one of those mysteries that come with government programs. You will be asked to provide your name, address, social security number and date of birth. You can also opt out online at www.optoutprescreen.com .
We have all been advised to use caution before providing our social security number to anyone. This link will take you to the Federal Trade Commission website to confirm the legitimacy of the Opt Out program
It would be natural to assume this is part of the Obama administration’s new consumer protection legislation because some of its provisions and revisions are only now coming into effect. However, FCRA was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.