Less junk mail helps prevent ID theft - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

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Less junk mail helps prevent ID theft

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Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 4:45 am

Junk mail used to just be annoying.

But with all of the ID theft and credit security breaches lately, some wonder if junk mail can also be dangerous.

Patty emailed me about a concern I’ve had, too. She says she gets pre-approved credit card offers and “I shred them all because your name is on every single piece of paper they send... It would be great to stop them.”

I agree.

I don’t know what thieves could do with them — and I don’t want to find out.

I found out about a website, Optoutprescreen.com. Here, you can stop the credit reporting agencies from sending your information to banks and businesses that send out those offers. You can opt out for five years or permanently, and you can always opt back in. The website says they don’t require a Social Security number, but urge you to provide it and say their site is secure.

We hear that a lot from these types of businesses. They say they need it because “it helps to ensure that we can successfully process your request.”

I understand how it might help them, but if you have concerns, don’t provide it. See what happens and take it from there.

But that website won’t stop all offers.

You should also stop by Dmachoice.org. It’s run by the Direct Marketing Association, which represents nearly 80 percent of marketing business. There, you can opt out of other offers and junk — both mail and email.

And be sure to let me know how it works for you.

• Joe Ducey is helping people like you everyday on ABC15 News at 6 p.m. If you’ve got a consumer issue you can’t solve, “Let Joe Know.” Contact him at joe@abc15.com or (855) 323-1515.

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