- Whenever you donate money, order a product or service, or fill out a warranty card, write in large letters, "Please do not sell my name or address". Most organizations will properly mark your name in the computer.
- Product warranty cards are are often used to collection information on your habits and income, for the sole purpose of targeting direct mail. They are not required in most situations - avoid sending them.
- On the telephone, ask "Please mark my account so that my name is not traded or sold to other companies".
- Your credit card company probably sells your name the most often -- keep reading for techniques to stop it.
- "Contests" where you fill in a little entry blank are almost always fishing expeditions for names. If you fill one out at a football game, for example, expect to get a catalog of football merchandise within a few months. Avoid these if you don't want the mail.
- Select a false middle name or initial for each charity or business you deal with. Keep track of which letter goes with which organization. You can also select a false road designator, "avenue, place, circle, street, highway, parkway, etc.". This step can be very revealing. Some guides recommend changing the spelling of your name, but this can lead to duplicate mailings.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Do-it-yourself: Stop junk mail
Your name, address, and buying habits are a commodity that is regularly sold & traded on the open market. These days organizations you deal with virtually all sell your name unless you specifically ask them to stop. Here are some general techniques: