Consumer protection advice

Consumer protection advice

Tips for Reducing Junk MailTips for Reducing Junk Mail
Add Your Name to the Direct Marketing Association’s “Do Not Mail” List
Visit http://www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailinglist for information about registering free through the mail or signing up online for a $5.00 fee.

Opt-In to More Email Programs
Today’s top brands offer online versions of their direct mail catalogs. Visit their websites, opt in to their email programs, add their address to your whitelist, and buy online! When possible, update your email preferences to receive online marketing materials instead of paper copies.

Contact Your Postmaster
If you’re plagued by unaddressed mass mailings (usually flyers), let your postmaster know that you don’t wish to receive unaddressed post.

Recycle!
This won’t reduce the junk mail you receive, but recycling will help prevent landfills from becoming overburdened by paper that can instead be reused.

Tips for Reducing Telemarketing Calls
Add Your Number to the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry
Visit https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx and register free online!

Ask Telemarketers to Add Your Name to Their Do Not Call List
Law requires telemarketers to honor this request, unless the caller is a political organization or you have an existing relationship with the company. Add more weight to your demand by asking the caller to give you their name and title.

Be Cautious When Giving Out Your Phone Number
It’s not uncommon for retail companies to ask for your phone number when you’re at the cash register. Simply tell them “no” if you’re not confident that they’ll protect your privacy.

Tips for Reducing Credit Card Offers
Ask the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Inc., Innovis, and Trans Union) to remove your name from mailing lists for pre-approved credit cards. You can accomplish this simply by dialing a single telephone number, 888-567-8688.

Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft
Monitor your Credit Report
Most people don’t even know they are victims of identity theft until they’ve been denied credit for a major purchase. That’s why it’s important to monitor your credit report annually—more often if you have specific ID theft concerns.

Residents of Western States (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming): As of December 1, 2004, you became eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report from the three major reporting agencies once every 12 months.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, free reports for other states will be made available according to the following schedule

* Midwestern states ( Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin): March 1, 2005.
* Southern states ( Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas ): June 1, 2005.
* Eastern states (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia), Puerto Rico, and all U.S. territories: September 1, 2005.

How Do I Order My Free Credit Report?
You can order your free annual credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com, or by calling 877-322-8228.

Important Credit Reporting Bureau Information
Equifax — www.equifax.com
To order your report, call: 800-685-1111
To report fraud, call: 800-525-6285/
TDD 800-255-0056 and write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian — www.experian.com
To order your report, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)
To report fraud, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742)/
TDD 800-972-0322 and write:
P.O. Box 9532, Allen TX 75013

TransUnion — www.transunion.com
To order your report, call: 800-888-4213
To report fraud, call: 800-680-7289/
TDD 877-553-7803; fax: 714-447-6034; email: fvad@transunion.com or write: Fraud Victim Assistance Department, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

Has Your Identity Been Stolen?
For more information about what to do, visit the FTC’s consumer website at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/index.html or visit http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/idtheft.htm#minimize.

 

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