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Combating Direct Mail, Telemarketing, and Email Spam
Tired of endless credit card offers, receiving annoying dinner-time phone calls, and sifting through email spam? Fortunately, there are steps every consumer can take to limit the seemingly endless flow of direct mail, marketing phone calls, and spam email.
Step 1 . Reduce your direct mail by “Opting Out” of credit reporting agency list name sales:
- By opting-out, you remove yourself from marketing lists sold to businesses by the three national credit bureaus. It’s a simple process. Simply call 1-888-567-8688 and follow the automated instructions. You will receive a confirmation letter in the mail, which you must send back to the credit bureaus to confirm your request.
- If you are uncomfortable using the automated phone system, you can write to the national credit reporting agencies at the addresses below to remove yourself from their list sales:
PO Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
701 Experian Pkwy
Allen, TX 75013
Marketing List Opt Out
PO Box 97328
Jackson, MS 39288-7328
You can also opt out online at www.optoutprescreen.com.
Step 2 . Contact the Direct Marketing Association:
- Contact the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) to register your name and address with their Mail Preference Service (MPS). The MPS will filter your name from mass mailings, significantly decreasing your direct mail load. Visit them online at www.DMAchoice.org
Keep in mind, the DMA will not stop mail from companies you do business with, charitable organizations, or commercial organizations that do not use MPS. Contact those companies directly to request their procedure to remove your name from their marketing lists.
Step 3. Register with the Do Not Call Registry:
- To reduce calls from telemarketers, register with the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotca ll.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
- If your state has a Do Not Call registry, register your telephone number there as well.
- By the way, be careful when calling 900 numbers unless you already do business with the company. Your phone number may be captured by such companies and subsequently sold for marketing purposes.
Step 4. Install software on your computer to reduce Spam, Pop-ups, and Spyware:
- To combat spam, consider installing software that filters your email.
- You may also want to install “pop-up” blocking software to reduce pop-up ads from displaying in your web browser.
- Lastly you may want to install software that detects spyware on your computer. Spyware “plug-ins” allows companies to track your online usage usually for marketing purposes.
- Ad-Aware is a free software program that helps minimize spyware on your computer. You can get Ad-Aware online from:
- Spyware is oftentimes loaded onto your computer in connection with free offers, sweepstakes offers and other promotional advertisements online, so be careful with free stuff on the Internet. Musical downloads and gambling sites may also load spyware on you computer without your realizing it.
It’s a lot to remember, but if you are dedicated to stopping direct mail, telemarketing, and spam, these are steps that will help your problem.
By the way keep in mind that direct mail can sometimes make you vulnerable to identity theft. Always shred your direct mail and any other documents containing your personal information.