Tired of finding your mailbox, inbox, and voicemail full of unwanted credit card offers, insurance solicitations, and coupons and catalogs from retail companies? Investing just a few minutes of your time will allow you to “JUST SAY NO” to junk mail and pesky offers!
There is nothing worse than coming home from a long day, opening your mailbox, and having to spend time sorting, recycling and shredding loads of unsolicited offers. Taking the time to make a quick call, submit an online request, or mail a letter will not only significantly reduce the amount of time you spend sorting through the piles, but it will also reduce the temptation to spend and open new credit accounts. Here is the scoop.
Credit Card and Insurance Offers: Credit card and insurance companies purchase lists from the four Consumer Credit Reporting Companies (Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion). These lists provide pertinent personal information about consumers that trigger the offers in your mailbox. However, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the option to “Opt-Out” and prevent Consumer Credit Reporting Companies from sharing your information for five years or permanently.
Simply phone 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit http://www.optoutprescreen.com. You will be prompted to provide some personal information, including your home telephone number, name, address, and social security number. Having your name removed from credit card offers will remove the temptation to open new credit accounts and can help prevent identity theft. If you ever miss receiving these offers, you can “Opt-In” at any time by calling or visiting the website.
Junk Mail: The Direct Marketing Association has a mail preference service that allows you to reduce the amount of commercial advertising mail that you receive at home for five years. The quickest and most efficient way to remove your name from the “do not mail” list is to visit http://www.dmaconsumers.org. Click on the “Consumer Assistance” tab and then click on the “How to remove your name from mailing lists” tab. Fill out the required fields and pay the $5 fee (you can submit it online).
You can also print and mail the letter to the below address:
Direct Marketing Association
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
Please note, this service will not prevent companies that you do business with from mailing catalogs. For example, if you have a Macy’s card, Macy’s will continue to send catalogs on a regular basis. You will need to contact each retailer and request that they stop future mailings.
Email: If you provide your email address to any retailer you will get weekly or sometimes, daily emails from them prodding you with the latest seasonal items and sales. Stopping unwanted emails that come into your inbox will remove the temptation of clicking through, browsing, and then buying.
The Direct Marketing Association also has an Email Preference Service that allows you to opt-out of receiving unsolicited emails for five years. Visit http://www.dmaconsumers.org, click on the “Consumer Assistance” tab and then click on the “How to get your name off e-mail lists.” Or, you can unsubscribe to emails or report the emails as spam to reduce offers in your inbox.
Phone Offers: Another common tactic for soliciting consumers with tempting credit card offers are random calls on your cellular phone. Take the time to register your cellular phone number and your home phone number (if you still have one) by logging on to http://www.donotcall.gov. This is a free service that is offered by the Federal Trade Commission and helps reduce the number of calls.
Taking the time to “JUST SAY NO” and remove your personal information from these lists will significantly reduce the number of solicitations that you receive. It will also save you time, avoid the temptation to open costly new credit accounts, eliminate impulse buying and decrease the risk of identity theft.