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Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumer reporting agencies are permitted to include customers' names on lists used by creditors or insurers to make offers of credit or insurance that are not initiated by the customer. The FCRA also provides customers the right to opt out, which prevents consumer reporting agencies from providing credit file information to others.
Beginning on August 1, 2005, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 took effect, which amended the FCRA to require consumer reporting agencies to include in their credit offers a statement allowing customers to stop unsolicited offers either by phone (1-888-5OPTOUT or 1-888-567-8688) or via https://www.optoutprescreen.com .
Customers may opt out from receiving offers for either five years or permanently. To opt out permanently, customers must confirm their requests in writing, by mailing in a Permanent Opt-Out Election form, available through the website. Customers who have opted out will no longer be included in offer lists provided by consumer reporting agencies. Customers who have previously completed an opt-out request may request to opt back in at the website as well.
Criticism and "phishing" rumors
When the site debuted, there was considerable confusion as to whether or not it was legitimate. The website appeared to some to be an Internet phishing scam, because it did not use the logos of the consumer reporting agencies that it purports to represent, nor the FTC logo.  But, the site is directly linked from official FTC webpages. The site has since been redone to show the logos of the participating companies more prominently. Still, the fact that the whois information for the domain name is hidden by domainsbyproxy.com does not increase the level of trust in this site.
- ↑ Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2004). "Report to the Congress on Further Restrictions on Unsolicited Written Offers of Credit and Insurance" (PDF). https://www.optoutprescreen.com/UnsolicitedCreditOffers2004.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
- ↑ "Alert: New Look for Prescreened Credit and Insurance Offers". privacyrights.org. 2005. http://www.privacyrights.org/ar/FTC-OptOutPrescreen.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
- ↑ Ed Foster (2005). "OptoutPrescreen Revisited". InfoWorld.com. http://www.infoworld.com/weblog/foster/2005/10/25.html. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
- ↑ "Prescreened Offers of Credit and Insurance". Federal Trade Commission. 2008. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre17.shtm. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
- ↑ http://whois.domaintools.com/optoutprescreen.com