Here’s a tool to use against telemarketers

Published 5:00 am Friday, June 28, 2002

I got an inquiry this week from a Wesson resident. This is whatit said: “Please check this e-mail and let me know if it isOK.”

Here’s the e-mail:

“Important Law Change: Credit Reporting

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Please do the following, it may be important to you.


“Just wanted to let everyone know who hasn’t already heard, themajor credit bureaus in the U.S. will be allowed, starting July 1,to release your credit info, mailing addresses, phone numbers,etc., to anyone who requests it. If you would like to ‘opt out’ ofthis release of your info, you can call 1-888-567-8688. It onlytakes a couple of minutes to do.

“Once the message starts you’ll want option #2 (even thoughoption #1 refers to this E-mail) and then option #3. Be sure tolisten closely, the first option is only for a two-year period.Make sure you wait until they prompt for the third option, whichopts you out forever.

“One of my co-workers received paperwork in the mail confirmingher ‘opting out’ within less than one week of making the call.”

I sent his message up to Attorney General Mike Moore’s officeand asked for some advice.

Good news. This is not a scam.

“In fact,” an assistant attorney general told me, “we areencouraging people to do this.”

More good news. By taking the steps listed above, the chancesare good that fewer telemarketers will be telephoning yourhouse.

“The results won’t be immediate, and it won’t completely stopthe calls, but it will help,” I was told.

What you are doing by making this telephone call is removingyour name and address from major credit bureau lists forunsolicited credit and insurance offers.

If you’ve ever applied for a charge account, a personal loan,insurance, or a job, one of the major credit bureaus has a file onyou. The file contains information on where you work and live, howyou pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, orfiled for bankruptcy.

That information is your consumer report, and the credit bureaussell copies of it to creditors, employers, insurers, and otherbusinesses.

The three major national credit bureaus are:

* Equifax, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241; (800)685-1111;

* Experian (formerly TRW), P.O. Box 2104, Allen, TX 75013; (888)EXPERIAN (397-3742)

* Trans Union, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022; (800)916-8800.

The Attorney General’s office also suggests that people getcopies of their consumer reports and check them for accuracy.(There could be a charge for this.)

I made the call and ‘opted out’ by following the directions inthe e-mail. I’m looking forward to a little more peace and quiet athome.

Write to Nanette Laster at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to