Americans receive 90 BILLION pieces of advertising mail every year. In fact, “junk” mail now accounts for 59% of all mail received by Americans.
Contained in this junk mail are “pre-approved” and “pre-qualified” credit card and loan offers from banks and credit unions , along with other “personalized” offers from various businesses. When supplemented with other personal data about you from the internet, data breaches, phishing scams and financial, junk mail and other personalized mail make your mailbox the riskiest non-technological point for identity theft.
Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of becoming an identity fraud victim of criminals who use your stolen mail to commit identity fraud in your name:
- OPT OUT OF PRE-SCREENED/PRE-APPROVED ADVERTISING OFFERS OF NEW CREDIT AND NEW INSURANCE.
- optoutprescreen.com is the FTC-approved website for exercising your legal right to either a 5-year opt-out or permanent opt-out of unsolicited credit offers and insurance offers. Once you opt-out from pre-screened/pre-approved offers, the CRAs – Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, Innovis – are prohibited by law from giving your identity to banks, credit unions and insurance companies that send unsolicited mail containing applications for credit cards, loans and insurance in your name with your address.
- OPT OUT OF DATA BROKER DATABASES.
- StopDataMiningMe.com informs consumers about the type of information data brokers have about them and how to exercise their opt-out choices.
- The site maintains a list of fifty (50) data broker companies with opt out links that allow consumers to remove their identities from the data brokers’ databases.
- OPT OUT OF DIRECT MARKETING MAIL AND EMAIL
- DMAchoice.org – The Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Mail Preference Service (MPS) lets you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service, your name will be put on a “delete” file and made available to direct-mail marketers and organizations. This will reduce most of your unsolicited mail. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that do not use the DMA’s Mail Preference Service.