August 1st, 2011 | Credit Programs
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What is Optoutprescreen.com and is it Legit?
Optoutprescreen.com lets you opt out of pre-approved credit card offers and the risk of credit card fraud that comes with them. That means less junk in your mail box!
Identity theft and credit card fraud are two of the worst threats facing consumers. The news is full of identity theft stories in which the victim's credit rating is destroyed. Who doesn't worry about their credit cards being stolen from their mailbox?
What's worse, it might be a credit card you didn't even apply for! Those credit card pre-approvals from banks and other lending institutions pose a hidden danger. What if you could opt out of these pre-screened credit card offers? Now you can at Optoutprescreen.com
The Danger of Credit Card Pre-Approvals
Those pre-approved credit card offers are more than annoying. If a criminal steals your mail, fills out a credit card application that's been pre-approved and sends it in they've just applied for a credit card ...in your name. Now they just have to watch for it to arrive in your mailbox. Once it does they'll be able to go shopping armed with your credit card. It's that easy. So what can be done to combat it? You may not have requested these pre-approvals, but it's your credit that's damaged in this scheme. This is why we recommend using OptOutPrescreen.com to block credit card pre-approvals unless you prefer adding to your growing collection of credit cards. I have four already but use only two. Using OptOutPrescreen was a no-brainer for me.
Optoutprescreen.com Blocks Access to Your Credit History
Several years ago the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies acted to alleviate consumer anxiety by providing a means to stop to credit card and insurance solicitation. You know these credit reporting companies as EquiFax, Experian, TransUnion and Innovis. Together they created Optoutprescreen.com so that consumers could send in requests for removal (opt out) from pre-approved credit card and insurance offers. These offers are also referredto as "firm offers" of either credit or insurance. You are also given the choice of opting out for five years or you can opt out of firm offers permanantly. If you have already decided to opt out of firm offers and would like to opt back in (hey, it could happen) OptoutPrescreen.com provides a means for that as well. Opting out will not remove you from mailing lists! Don't be alarmed if six months after opting out you still receive credit card offers. What you have opted out of are unauthorized credit checks. A bank can request your credit history without your authorization and then "pre-approve" you for a credit card. This is the "prescreen" part that is the cause of all the problems because this is where the danger lies. It doesn't do a criminal much good to your intercept mail only to find out you were declined.
Many people have wondered if optoutprescreen.com is a legitimate website and not just a scam itself. While the website is very basic, it is secured by 1024 bit SSL to protect the information you send. Optoutprescreen.com is actually what it appears to be and that is a way to get off those mailing lists. Yes, they do ask you for your social security number, however, they need to be able to verify your identity.
Type in "www.OptOutPreScreen.com" yourself!
If a link to www.optoutprescreen.com should arrive in an email addressed to you, don't click it. Always type in the address (https://www.optoutprescreen.com) yourself. Don't forget the s in the URL because that ensures the encryption of your data when you submit the form.
A good rule of thumb is to never, ever click links in email that request your personal information. Criminals create elaborate mockups of banking and other well known sites. No legitimate site would request information requiring you to click a link to "fix your account" or resubmit personal information you've already provided. This is called Phishing and you should learn to recognize it when you see it.
Always type in the web address when your financial accounts are involved. In this case you will be submitting your Social Security number and if that gets into the wrong hands you could have all kinds of problems. While this site is completely legitimate make sure that you are actually on it when submitting your request to have the credit reporting companies discontinue their practice of allowing credit card companies to scan your credit history at will.
The real www.Optoutprescreen.com is not a Phishing scam
Optoutprescreen.com is not a bunch of identity thieves who have cooked up the best scam ever. It's another tool you can use to fight identity theft and credit card fraud. OptOutPrescreen.com is run by the four major credit rating companies - Experian, Equifax, Innovis and TransUnion. I have opted out using this site and encourage anyone that doesn't want to receive pre-approved credit card offers anymore to do the same.
Some concerns about Optoutprescreen.com
First of all we have to acknowledge that people don't trust the credit reporting companies very much if at all. We have all heard the news stories involving breaches of security that let criminals access the records of hundreds of thousands of people.
You may also wonder why you have to opt out in the first place. Shouldn't credit card companies need your permission to run a credit check on you? In a perfect world the answer would most certainly be yes but sadly this is the way it is and if you want to stop those offers from appearing in your mailbox you will need to play by their rules.
"Optoutprescreen.com or the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies, may also disclose any of the information collected, as described above, to affiliates of the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies, which are companies that are related to one of them by common ownership or affiliated with one of them by common control, or to the associated consumer reporting companies who utilize a nationwide consumer reporting company system and that may have information about you."
At first glance this might look a little fishy but think about it before you let paranoia take hold of you. You want to stop as many pre-approval offers as possible and this means that your opt-out request needs to be available to anyone that might send you an offer. We already know that by default they can run your credit report anyway so what you are adding to the mix is that you don't want them to and you don't want their offer. There is some more fine print which might make more than a few of you scratch your heads:
This gives the credit-reporting affiliates the option to use one of two sets of rules and regulations. It does not say that they can now use your information anyway they see fit. If you go ahead and opt-out via Optoutprescreen and you are still getting offers three months later you should probably ask questions but give it a chance to work. Your information is already out there so submitting this request only checks the "Opt Out" box in their system. Keep in mind that the credit card companies will try to get you agree to opt back in every time you sign up for credit so read the fine print on just about anything you sign up for involving credit or banking. If you see something such as "We reserve the right to run credit checks on you and send you credit card pre-approvals if you sign this form" and then you sign the form you have no one but yourself to blame. Once you opt out, pay attention any time you sign up for anything so you don't find yourself needing to opt out on a regular basis.
Using Optoutprescreen.com can reduce you junk mail
One great side-effect of using Optoutprescreen is that you end up with less junk mail to sort through. I figure that my junk mail decreased approximately 50% after I requested that my name be removed from credit card pre-approval lists. That's a LOT of mail! Thanks to Optoutprescreen there are some days where I receive no mail at all. Think about how many trees we could save if we all had our names removed.
Tips to help you avoid credit card fraud