Do you know what identity thieves love? A paper trail! Honestly, it’s easier to steal something out of your mailbox or your trash than it is to steal your information online. In fact, in most places, only the former one is illegal! Now I’m sure you’re locking your mailbox and shredding your junk mail, but another precaution you should take is preventing “ID Theft Bait” (paper with your info on it) from ever existing.
So opt-out! Tell the direct marketers of this country that no, you don’t want a credit card offer every week or any mailings about totally awesome craft clubs! (I’m sure your craft club is awesome and not at all a scam, even though when I Googled your name I got a bunch of results that included the word “scam.”)
OptOutPrescreen.com is the site to put a stop to all of the annoying offers you get in the mail. It’ll stop all of the businesses that you don’t have a business relationship with from sending you junk mail. Hurray!
As for the businesses you do have a relationship with? Like the credit card that keeps sending your “courtesy checks” even though you never use them? Yeah, you’ll have to call each one of those directly and try to convince the customer service rep on the phone to stop sending you those. Here’s what works:
Rep: How may I help you today?
You: Uh, hi. So, you guys keep sending me courtesy checks for my account, and I don’t really want them sent anymore.
Rep: Oh, but those are [blah blah blah about why you actually want them even though you say you don’t and oh we can’t stop sending them blah blah blah]
You: Well, that’s nice and all, but I’m afraid that someone might be trying to steal my mail, which is why I signed up for paperless statements. [Technically, this is true. Or at least, you should be afraid!]
Rep: Oh, that’s terrible! Alright, we’ll stop sending those courtesy checks to you for now.
Hurray for less junk mail!
This post is a part of National Protect Your Identity Week. Be sure to check out www.ProtectYourIDNow.org and subscribe to this site to get all the ID theft prevention tips!
Well said.. I get lots and lots of courtesy cheques in my mail box too.
Will try out your method the next time