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Tuesday, May 21, 2024   

Unsolicited Mail, Telemarketing and Email: Where to Go To "Just Say No"
by Federal Trade Commission
The Commission is headed by five Commissioners, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, each serving a seven-year term. The President chooses one Commissioner to act as Chairman. No more than three Commissioners can be of the same political party.
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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."

Credit Bureaus
The credit bureaus offer a toll-free number that enables you to "opt-out" of having pre-approved credit offers sent to you for two years. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (567-8688) for more information.

In addition, you can notify the three major credit bureaus that you do not want personal information about you shared for promotional purposes-an important step toward eliminating unsolicited mail. Write your own letter or use the sample letter on the bottom of this Alert to limit the amount of information the credit bureaus will share about you. Send your letter to each of the three major credit bureaus:

Equifax, Inc. Experian Trans Union
Options Consumer Opt-Out Marketing List Opt Out
PO Box 740123 701 Experian Parkway PO Box 97328
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123 Allen, TX 75013 Jackson, MS 39288-7328

Direct Marketers 
The Direct Marketing Association offers the Mail and Telephone Preference Services, which allow you to reduce the amount of direct mail marketing and telemarketing you receive from many national companies for five years.

When you register with these services, your name will be put on a "delete" file that is updated four times a year-in January, April, July and October-and made available to direct-mail and telephone marketers. Two to three months after your name is entered into the quarterly file, you should notice a decrease in the number of solicitations you receive. However, your registration will not stop mailings or calls from organizations not registered with the DMA's Mail and Telephone Preference Services.

To have your name deleted from many direct mail or telemarketing lists, write your own letter or use the sample letter on the other side of this Alert and mail it to the following addresses:

For direct mail marketing: Direct Marketing Association; Mail Preference Service; PO Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512 .
For telemarketing: Direct Marketing Association; Telephone Preference Service; PO Box 1559, Carmel, NY 10512.

In addition, the DMA recently launched a new EMail Preference Service to help you reduce unsolicited commercial emails. To "opt-out" of receiving unsolicited commercial email, use the Direct Marketing Association's online form at www.e-mps.org. Your online request will remain effective for one year.

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.

Sample Opt-Out Letter (Send to addresses above.)


To whom it may concern:

I request to have my name removed from your marketing lists. Here is the information you have asked me to include in my request:

FIRST, MIDDLE & LAST NAME (List all name variations, including Jr., Sr., etc.)

CURRENT MAILING ADDRESS _________________________________________

PREVIOUS MAILING ADDRESS (Fill in your previous mailing address if you have moved in the last 6 months.) Note: not required by Equifax and Experian.

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER Note: not required by Equifax.

DATE OF BIRTH Note: not required by Equifax.

Thank you for your prompt handling of my request.



The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the online complaint form. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies U.S. and abroad.



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