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Is Your Identity at Risk Through Junk Mail?

Written by: Kristy Welsh

Phoenix, AZ - Identity thieves love to "dumpster dive" for pre-approved credit card offers and can learn much about you by the type of junk mail you receive. Kristy Welsh, author of "Good Credit Is Sexy" says you would be surprised where the information comes from that would put you on a junk mailers list.

1. Your car registration, drivers' license, marriage, any children born, divorce, property, mortgage, and many other kinds of information controlled by the government are sold and turned to commercial uses.

2. The credit bureaus are the culprits responsible for sending you all those unsolicited credit card applications. While they do not give out specific information, they do sell lists of people they think would fit into good, bad, or excellent credit categories.

3. The telephone book, or more often, files sold by telephone companies. Rather than waiting for printed books, phone companies sell the news of your connection within days. These lists are a hot property so a newly published number attracts a very high number of telemarketing calls.

4. The Post Office updates marketers about changes of address every two weeks or so. Other public sources include memberships of clubs and societies, and of course the Web.

Tired of getting all that junk mail? There is hope, Welsh says: to get rid of pre-approved credit card offers, you can write to the credit bureaus at (one call or letter gets you off all three):

Experian Consumer Opt Out
701 Experian Parkway
Allen, TX 75013
1 800 353 0809

To be removed from most other junk mail lists you can write to: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008