credit" - an email warning that's partly accurate
EDITOR'S NOTE: We wondered if this was an accurate email warning
consumers of credit checking problems (it had been forwarded on
to us as being correct). So, we did some research. My
cousin and her daughter found the information in the box below
from the Federal Trade Commission, so it seems it's partially true,
and may well be worth pursuing.
This is confirmed and I have already opted out from having my credit
information made publicly available. You can, too.
Your Credit: Personal Information goes public Starting July 1st,
2003, the four major credit bureaus in the US (Equifax, etc.) will
be allowed to release credit info, mailing addresses, phone numbers,
etc., to ANYONE who requests it.
If you do not want to be included in this release of your personal
information, you can call 1-888-567-8688. Once the message starts
you will want option #2 (even though option #1 refers to this email,
push #2) and then option #2.
Be sure to
listen closely, the first option is only for a two-year period.
Make sure you wait until they prompt
for the second option,
which opts you out FOREVER. You should receive their paperwork
in the mail confirming the "opting out" in less than
one week after making the call.
PASS THIS MESSAGE ON TO ALL IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK, FRIENDS AND
Jim "ABE" Abraham
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION - CONSUMER ALERT
Bogus July 1 Email Exposed: The Real Deal on Your Credit
An anonymous email containing false and misleading information
about the use of your personal information is showing up in
email in-boxes across the country, leaving many consumers concerned
Here's what the bogus email says:
wanted to let everyone know who hasn't already heard,
the four major credit bureaus in the U.S. will
be allowed, starting July 1, to release your credit info,
mailing addresses, phone numbers ... to anyone who requests
it. If you would like to "opt out" of this
release of info., you can call 1-888-567-8688. It only
takes a couple of minutes to do."
Here's the real deal from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),
the agency that enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
July 1 deadline relates to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
(GLB), which set July 1, 2001 as the deadline for
financial institutions to give you notice of their privacy
policies and a way for you to opt-out of some of their
information-sharing practices. You may recall getting
mailings or statement inserts recently from your financial
institutions, creditors, insurance companies and brokerage
firms about this. The July 1 date is not a deadline for
consumers to do anything. In fact, consumers can contact
their financial institutions anytime to opt-out under
bureaus can release your credit information only to people
with a legitimate business need, as recognized by the
FCRA. For example, a company is allowed to
get your report if you apply for credit, insurance, employment, or to rent an
addition to the uses described above, lenders and insurers
may use information in your credit file as a basis for
sending you unsolicited offers of credit or
insurance. This is known as "prescreening." However, you have a right
to opt out of these offers. The toll-free number - 1-888-567-8688 - is the "opt-out" line
for the major credit bureaus for "prescreened" offers only.
For More Information
To learn more about your privacy rights under the FCRA and
GLB, contact the FTC.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive
and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide
information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them.
To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer
issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP
(1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet,
telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints
into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available
to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies
in the U.S. and abroad.