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Tech Talk

Fight Back Against Junk Mail

By David A. Cox | July 18, 2011

This month we did a ton of research so you have all the information you need to stop receiving SPAM of all sorts.

Snail Mail

There is an organization known as the Direct Marketing Association which controls the vast majority of these lists. To get yourself removed, click our link to go to the website, register, and category by category you can remove yourself from all mailing lists. At one point during the registration process you will be asked for your Social Security Number. Don’t worry. We checked out the website and it is fully legit. http://www.dmachoice.org

Do Not Call List

It takes 30 seconds to have yourself removed from the lists of thousands of telemarketers. You should know that political calls and charities are exempt (but keep reading this article to find out how to get rid of them too).   Also, cell phone numbers have been available to marketers since 2003, they just don’t waste their time usually because of caller ID.

When you register with the Do Not Call List you can register up to three numbers, so yes, one of them should be your cell phone.

Finally, once you sign up for the list, it will take thirty-one days before you’ll start to notice a difference.   https://donotcall.gov/

What to Say When Telemarketers Call

You must remember eight very important words. The way you phrase this is very important:

“Put me on your do-not-call list.”

Do not say “Take me off your list.” This is because federal law requires telemarketers to keep a list of consumers who don’t want to be called.


Can someone explain exactly what purpose Robo Calls play in society? These are of course automated machines that play a recording when you pick up.

Often they will portray themselves as their opponents just to annoy. Here’s the trick to end them.

When you pick up, on your key pad dial STAR (*), POUND (#), ZERO (0). This causes most of these machines to ‘hiccup’ or may bring you to an option where you can opt out of receiving future calls.

Dial Out of Unwanted Phone Books

It’s sad, but every year more than 600,000 tons of phone books end up in the trash every year.   Here’s two links where you can opt out from receiving them Yellow Pages Opt Out and Catalog Choice.

Publishers Clearing House

Send a friendly e-mail to pch@ant.net and ask to have your information removed. Note: you must present your name and address exactly as it appears when it arrives in your mailbox.

Val-Pak Coupons

Click here to stop receiving the barrage of coupons.

Credit Bureau

If you’ve ever owned a credit card, you probably receive offers for credit cards, credit assistance, etc. Call (888) 567-8688, follow the automated prompts, and when prompted tell them you don’t want any credit offers for life.

They will send you via snail mail a form to fill out to confirm. If you do not complete and return it you will receive offers again starting in two years.

Political Calls

There is a website run by the Citizens for Civil Discourse called StopPoliticalCalls.org that will remove you from all political party lists that they have access to. However, the reach of this organization isn’t giant so don’t expect significant results. The organization is trying to create legislation that would end political parties’ exempt status from the National Do Not Call List.

Remove Former Employees’ Junk Mail

Still getting junk mail for that employee who left ages ago? Click here to stop the spam.

David A. Cox is an Apple Certified Product Specialist and the host of Tech Talk America, the only consumer friendly talk show about technology. Tech Talk America can be downloaded for free from iTunes.

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