While I don't have a list of 'baddies' to remove, I am something of a privacy freak, so this OPT OUT thread drew my interest. after reading this and others, there were some basic questions that were never asked, and never answered.
does anyone have information for these?
1) when you order your credit report (free or otherwise) your street address is requested. is your credit report updated with the new address you provide? if yes, isn't that something of a self-defeating move?
2) in deleting old/incorrect addresses from the personal information section of your credit report, you are asked to provide your current address. will your credit report be updated with the address you provide?
3) when OPTING OUT from most every kind of database (peoplefinder.com, intelius.com, etc.) you are asked to provide your current address with your request for OPTING OUT. is your current address information then used to populate another database?
sorry if this has been posted elsewhere already. I couldn't seem to find it.
Welcome to the board. Those are some good and complex questions.
Credit repair, identity theft prevention, and privacy are goals that can have conflicting priorities.
Let's first talk about the name and address on your credit report. You want your real name and some address on your credit reports. The name and address does not normally come from you. You are not the CRA
's customer, the banks are. The name and address gets reported to the three CRA
's by your creditors. While I have written a "get your name and address listed correctly" letter that is on this board it is designed to get your name listed correctly and to remove old incorrect addresses, not to add a new addresses. Credit card companies generally ping or automatically update to each CRA
once a month. If you have name variations being reported, whatever one was reported most recently will rise to the top. So if you see a misspelling in there you need to call all the companies that report regularly and get their databases to list your name correctly before you mess with the CRA
The address that you receive your bills at is going to be the address at the top of the addresses on your credit report. That can be any address where you get your bills. It can be your physical address. It could be a PO box with UPS stores down the street. Or you could pay for a re-mailing service with a physical street address on the other side of the country to re-mail your bills to your PO box or your physical address.
When communicating with a CRA
by mail they will ask for your drivers license and two copies of any bills at your address. They will take copies of a social security card and any two bills showing your address.
As long as you opt out your address listed with the CRA
's is sort of not a problem as they can’t sell it. The exception of course would be Choice Point with gets all the Experian database stuff and makes it available to people who pay including the FBI.
You could get a physical address from a re-mailing service (mail drop) in your state and use that as your official address for absolutely everything including DMV, drivers license, IRS, and voting records.
Check out http://www.edenpress.com
The Eden directory of private mail drops in the US and 90 foreign countries edition 2000.
Regarding ID theft having a mail drop can help you out this way. Say a black hat gets all your personal identifiers like name, address, mother maiden name and so on and has a field day. You can simply switch mail drops to a new town and zip code and that will change your address and zip code. It also makes finding your land line phone harder if you have one. If you rent and get your utilities an another or a fake name, use a pre paid cell phone, and use a mail drop you are pretty hard to find.
As far as slime companies like http://www.zabasearch.com
you are lucky if you can opt out at all. If you want to try I would do it by E-mail from a hotmail or some other kind of e-mail account that can't be traced back to you. Say you are an undercover narcotics officer or you are an officer with homeland security. You can threaten to complain to the States attorney Generals (SAG) office in the state they are incorporated in, the Better Business Bureau (BBB
), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC
). The sad truth is that there are literally hundreds of databases out there that track your name and address. They are not breaking the law so there is little you can do about them except bug your elected officials in congress to pass privacy legislation like they have in the EU. If you are already listed in a few it's futile to try to opt out. Move forward and get a PO box or two and file a change of address form with the post office to an address that you don't physically live at. The US post office sells the data so it's a great way for you to disseminate false information.
Note that a few of the databases out their track all of your former addresses.
Edited by Alex, 27 March 2006 - 09:51 PM.