More than 80 billion pieces of unsolicited mail are received by Americans each year. Thankfully, there are simple things you can do to stop receiving unwanted phone books, catalogs, coupons and credit card solicitations.
Tips for stopping junk mail:
- Save the labels of unwanted publications that come to your mailbox. Keep as many versions as you can—every variation, no matter how small is another name on a list which gets bought and sold without your permission or signature.
- Contact each company sending unwanted mail (either through their website or by calling their customer service phone number) and ask to be taken off of their mailing list. Have the label handy to tell the company any code numbers printed on the label.
- Use the following words every time you buy anything, give to charity, or sign up for a contest, “Please don't sell, rent, or trade my name.”
- Use business reply envelopes to return solicitations with a note to remove names from lists.
- Cancel unwanted subscriptions.
- If you order from catalogs, call their toll-free number and request that you receive only as many issues as you want. When requesting a catalog or ordering for the first time, specify not to sell, rent, or trade your name to any other company.
- Call your credit card companies and ask to be placed on their "in house" list only, which is used only by them.
- Watch out for "contests" or "free offers." Sometimes their purpose is to sell you something or to get your name on lists.
And remember, junk mail can be recycled through your curbside service...cellophane windows, tape, and all. Please remove any magnets, fake credit cards, or non-paper material from the envelope contents before recycling.