I really like getting great stuff in the mail like all of my freebies or coupon booklets. I despise getting credit offer, “Occupant” mail and anything else that is causing me to have to shred, recycle or wonder just how safe my personal info is.
I found a few ways to stop the insanity and save us a bit of time:
DMAChoice (Direct Marketing Association) – Sign up and notify them of the mail you have received but wish you hadn’t.
FORMS & FREEBIES - Are you a “Sweeper” and sign up for sweepstakes? Be sure to look out for a way to opt-out when you sign up online or off. The same will hold true for those freebies that we love. If you end up getting on a list you don’t like, try to stop it immediately.
CATALOGS - Try signing up with Catalog Choice. They can do a search by ZIP Code or company name to find out what mass mailings are being delivered to all the mailboxes. You will also find the tools to reject future mailings from almost any company as well.
CREDIT CARD OFFERS – Oh these are my most detested. I’m careful to shred these so my identity won’t get stolen again. You can stop these offers by opting out completely at Opt-Out Prescreen. Look at the choices you have with this site:
Credit bureaus have a toll-free number-1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688). This call will prevent having pre-approved credit offers sent to you for two years. You can also notify the three major credit bureaus that you do not want them to disclose personal information about you for promotional purposes. Write to:
Equifax, Inc., Options
PO Box 740123
Experian, Consumer Opt Out
701 Experian Pkwy.
Allen, TX 75013
Trans Union LLC, Name Removal Option
PO Box 97328
Jackson, MS 39288-7328
Include your social security number in letters to Equifax and Trans Union, and your date of birth also in letters to Trans Union. With this type of info included, I would send return receipt requested.
CHARITIES – By now, you probably know that some charities are legitimate and others aren’t. IMHO, it is far better to select and know where your money is going than to be solicited by any other means. At CharityWatch.org, there is a little form you can use to help slow down or stop mail from charities from arriving unsolicited.
National “Do Not Call” List: Unfortunately, nonprofits are not required to use this list. However it may reduce calls from for-profit fundraising companies that nonprofits hire. To get on the list, call 888-382-1222 or log on to http://www.donotcall.gov/.
Please be cautious when giving out your info. KNOW who you are giving it to and look for secure sites. You’ll know if you are using a secure site. The URL will begin with “https”. Look for the “s”!!!! If you are writing someone and including your personal info, again, be very cautious.
If you are called and asked for your personal info, do NOT give it out! You don’t know positively who is on the other end of the line and you’ll be randomly giving out enough info for others to open up all sorts of accounts from bank accounts to credit card accounts. You don’t need your social security benefits messed up, your IRS info going bonkers and you owing more taxes. I’ve heard it all to include children being adopted.