Have you ever been expecting an important package and opened your mailbox to find a stack of coupons and junk mail? What about a vital, time-sensitive phone call and you picked up the phone to hear a robot or someone trying to sell you Medicare insurance? Although many people view these as minor inconveniences, nothing gets on my nerves more than junk mail and spam calls. It really makes me wonder how much personal information I have floating around in databases around the world, a huge cause for concern, especially in this day and age.
So it’s no surprise that any time I get a letter that I’ve been approved for yet another credit card, it goes straight in the trash. And every time a telemarketer decides to check in on me, I hang up and block the number. On top of that, emails that miraculously make it through my spam filters get deleted as soon as they come in. It’s such a chore. And gone are the days of asking to be put on a “no contact” list. But there are a few secrets most don’t know that can eliminate your intake of junk by going straight to the source.
This article from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, outlines some small steps you can take to finally rid yourself of junk and spam. Most of these steps don’t take more than a few minutes to complete, and can blacklist your personal information from being spammed for years! I’ll outline a few of the steps here:
- Register on the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) consumer website. Once registered, you can pick and choose the kinds of catalogs, magazine offers, and other mail you actually want to receive, or choose none at all. This will last for 10 years!
- Visit the Email Preference Service on the DMA’s website to limit your spam email intake. Or, take a look at this separate article from the FTC on email spam.
- Download a call-blocker app on your smartphone to automatically block robocalls, or visit this page on the FTC’s website dedicated to useful tips for blocking other types of unsolicited phone calls.
- For credit card and insurance offers specifically, you can visit Opt-Out Prescreen or call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT. With this service, you’ll have the option to opt-out from credit card and insurance offers for 5 years, or even permanently.
I hope this article helps and leaves more room in your mailbox and email inbox. Most of the time, the best solutions for de-cluttering our lives are right under our noses. It just takes a bit of problem-solving and research, which is what we do best here at J Street!
Want to share your thoughts? Have any stories of relentless spammers? Contact us today and let us know!