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CONSUMER BRIEFS

October 28, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Privacy Protection: The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer organization, has released a "Privacy Survival Guide" to help consumers take control of personal information circulated about them. For a free copy, call the clearinghouse at (800) 773-7748. Among the tips:

* Find out what is in your credit report. To protect yourself from being harmed from incorrect information, order your credit report once a year and make sure it is accurate.

* Find out if information about your medical history is stored in the Medical Information Bureau, the insurance industry data base.

* Avoid entering sweepstakes and other contests if you want to stay off mailing and telemarketing lists aimed at "opportunity seekers."

* Be especially protective of your Social Security number. Your credit report, bank account and other financial records are usually linked to it.

* Think twice before joining a "buyer's club" or using a debit, credit or check-cashing card when paying for groceries. Your name and address can be linked to the list of the purchases created when your groceries are "read" by the price scanner.

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