- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 19 October 2018
Stopping unsolicited mail, phone calls, and email
Tired of having your mailbox crammed with unsolicited mail, including pre-approved credit card applications? Fed up with getting telemarketing calls just as you're sitting down to dinner? Fuming that your email inbox is chock-full of unsolicited advertising? The good news is that you can cut down on the number of unsolicited mailings, calls, and emails you receive by learning where to go to "just say no."
Consumer reporting companies
If you decide that you don't want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently.
To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. The phone number and website are operated by the major consumer reporting companies.
To opt out permanently: You may begin the permanent opt-out process online at www.optoutprescreen.com. To complete your request, you must return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which will be provided after you initiate your online request.
When you call or visit the website, you'll be asked to provide certain personal information, including your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth. The information you provide is confidential and will be used only to process your request to opt out.
If you don't have access to the Internet, you may send a written request to permanently opt out to each of the major consumer reporting companies. Make sure your request includes your home telephone number, name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
P.O. Box 919
Allen, TX 75013
Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374
Innovis Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 495
Pittsburgh, PA 15230
Some people may be uncomfortable sharing so much of their their personal identifiers, even when it is to a confidential service, and may wish to continue receiving these offers rather than opt-out. The choice is yours.
The federal government's National Do Not Call Registry is a free, easy way to reduce the telemarketing calls you get at home. To register your phone number or to get information about the registry, visit www.donotcall.gov, or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register. You will get fewer telemarketing calls within 31 days of registering your number. Telephone numbers on the registry will only be removed when they are disconnected and reassigned, or when you choose to remove a number from the registry.
Mail and email
Consumers can register at the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) consumer website: www.DMAchoice.org for a processing fee of $2 for a period of ten years. Registering online is the fastest way to see results. DMAchoice offers consumers a simple, step-by-step process that enables them to decide what mail they do and do not want.
In addition, DMAchoice online offers registration for DMA's eMail Preference Service (to reduce your unsolicited commercial email).
If you do not wish to complete your registration online, you can register for DMAchoice by using the mail-in form that is online at: fill out the DMAChoice Mail In Form with all required information, print it and mail to the address below.
Or, if you do not have access to the Internet, you can register by sending your name and address (with signature), along with a $3 processing fee (check or money order payable to DMA) to:
Data & Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
Department of Motor Vehicles
The Drivers Privacy Protection Act allows states to distribute personal information only to law enforcement officials, courts, government agencies, private investigators, insurance underwriters, and similar businesses — but not for direct marketing and other uses.
Article reprinted from the Federal Trade Commission website at consumer.ftc.gov.