Here's a simple thing you should recommend to all of your clients even if your aren't the one running their credit report.
Tell your clients to call 888-567-8688 or go online at https://www.optoutprescreen.com and have them sign up for this free service to stop the credit bureaus from selling their personal and private information. Everyone seems to know the "do not call" list however it appears that very few people have heard of the opt out list for credit reports. Signing up for this list ensures that your credit profile and personal information is not sold by the credit bureaus to 3rd parties.
With all the identity theft and credit fraud that goes on in this country, we as responsible mortgage brokers (or Realtors) should be protective of our clients private information and should take every step possible to ensure their privacy. In addition to having your clients sign up for this service, here's a simple checklist you can use to make sure your doing your part in protecting client's privacy.
- Shred all unnecesary docs that have, address, soc #'s or acct information
- When you go home at the end of the day, do not leave docs with client info on your desk. Clean your desk and lock your files.. (don't leave things out for the cleaning crew)
- Make sure your screen saver is password protected.
- Password protect (or encrypt) any email that has private client data.
- Be mindful of conversations you have with colleagues about clients while in public places, you never know who is sitting in the next restuarant booth over.
- Make sure your staff is doing all of the above.
I'm sure you're probably doing all of these items already, however the biggest vulnerability comes from suport personnel and staff, who may not share the same level of responsibility as you. Review these simple items with them and don't tolerate dis-organization that can comprise a clients personal information.
Ohhh and don't forget.. Call that phone number for yourself.. Sometimes we take care of everyone else and forgot about us..