How to Stop Junk Mail and Protect Your Privacy by
Opting Out of Direct Marketing Lists

If you're tired of receiving unsolicited offers for credit cards and loans and your mailbox is full of catalogs and other junk mail, there is a way to bring most of it to a stop by taking the steps outlined below.

Step 1:  Ask the credit bureaus to stop selling your credit profile to lenders and insurance companies. The three credit bureaus routinely sell your credit profile information to credit card companies, lenders, and such.  Federal law requires that they stop sharing your personal information once you request them to stop.  You can request all three of these agencies stop giving out your personal information (unless you authorize it by applying for a loan, insurance, lease, etc.) by calling one number:  888-567-8688.  

You can also contact the three credit bureaus by mail at the following addresses:
Credit Identity Theft   >  Opt Out of Marketing Lists
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Step 2:  Have your name removed from most direct marketing lists.  You can have your name removed from junk mailer lists by contacting the Direct Marketing Association.  When you write this organization, provide your first, middle and last name, your address, and telephone number and a check or money order in the amount of $1.00.  This should reduce the number of catalogs and other direct mail offers you receive.

Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
P. O. Box 282
Carmel, NY 10512

You can also opt out with the Direct Marketing Association at their website  where they provide a form you can complete online or print out and mail-in.

Step 3:  Stop telemarketing calls.  The Federal Trade Commission has created a federal do not call registry (website:  http://www.donotcall.gov).  Submit your telephone number at the FTC website and it will be added to a list that telemarketers are required to purchase on a regular basis.  If your number is on the "do not call" list, telemarketers are prohibited from calling you (certain charities and political calls are exempt).  If you sign up today, you can expect almost all telemarketing calls to disappear in about three months.

Step 4:  Stop giving out your personal information to companies.  Not many people realize that when you send in a warranty card, order pizza, subscribe to a magazine, rent a movie, browse the Internet, etc., there are companies gathering information about you and your buying habits and selling it to other companies who use it to send you junk mail.   Why do you think Radio Shack and Pizza Hut want your phone number when you make a purchase from them when it is completely irrelevant to the sell?  They want to market directly to you in the future and are also selling this information to third parties.  This is also why companies want you to complete the warranty card when you purchase a product.  They don't tell you that federal and state laws protect you from unfit merchandise regardless of whether you send in a warranty card; they just want to gather as much information as they can about their customers so they can market new products to them and sell their names to third parties, who in turn, send you more junk mail.  By refusing to give out personal information to companies you can significantly reduce the amount of junk mail you receive.

Related topic:  Identity Theft
Experian Target Marketing
P. O. Box 919
701 Experian Parkway B2
Allen, TX 75013    www.experian.com

Equifax Options
P. O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123   www.equifax.com

Trans Union Corporation
Attn:  Marketing Opt Out
P. O. Box 97328
Jackson, MS 39288-7328   www.transunion.com