Junk mail is part of everyone's life now. It may not only a nuisance and a wasteful, it also opens the doors to identity thieves. Luckily, there are steps you can take to stop junk mail from ever reaching your mailbox.
Pre-approved credit card offers are particularly troublesome. If a scam artist gets one with your name on it, it's pretty easy for them to open a card in your name and start spending. To “opt-out” of receiving pre-approved credit card offers, you can call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. This will take you off the list for pre-approved offers for five years. They will ask you for your name, address and Social Security Number to process the request.
The Better Business Bureau says you can stop direct mail offers by visiting www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailing. This will take you off the list of the Direct Marketing Association, a trade group with 5,200 member companies that use telephone, mail, and the Internet to pitch their products. It could take six months for this to fully take effect.
Getting catalogs you don't want? The BBB says send an email about stopping the catalogs to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write to Abacus, Inc., P.O. Box 1478, Broomfield, Colorado 80038. You can also request each individual company you get catalogs from to stop sending them to you.
If you're getting mail addressed to the "resident" or "occupant," you can put a stop to that, too. The BBB says contact Valassis by phone at
1-888-241-6760, or through an online at www.advo.com/consumersupport.html. You can also write a request and send it to ADVO, Inc. Customer Assistance, P.O. Box 249, Windsor, Connecticut 06095.
To stop coupon packs from coming to your home, visit www.coxtarget.com/mailsuppression/s/DisplayMailSuppressionForm.
A final word of caution: if a child under the age of 13 in your home is receiving junk mail, they may be a victim of identity theft, the BBB says. Parents should contact the three credit reporting bureaus.