Junk Mail: How Did They All Get My Address?

Fact Sheet 4Junk Mail:
How Did They All Get My Address?

What we call junk mail is actually the result of direct marketing campaigns designed to get you to buy a product or service. It's called direct marketing because it attempts to match you and your buying preferences with offers that are likely to make you buy a product or service.

When you purchase a product or service and give the company your name and address, the chances are you are being added to one or more mailing lists used for direct marketing. This is true when you buy a car or a house, use a shopping card, sign up for a credit card, subscribe to a magazine, buy something from a catalog, give money to a charity, or fill out a product registration form.

Many people want to reduce or stop junk mail coming to them. Read our guide to learn about a variety of strategies you can use to get off direct marketing lists.

"Shine the Light" on Marketers: Find Out How They Know Your Name

Fact Sheet 4a"Shine the Light" on Marketers:
Find Out How They Know Your Name

These days you realize that it is no coincidence that junk mail and solicitations come tailored to your individual interests. What you may be in the dark about is whether it is your magazine subscription, gym, or bank that is responsible for sharing your information with other companies.

If you are a California resident, the "Shine the Light" law, implemented January 1, 2005, requires businesses to tell you with whom they have shared your information. (CA Civil Code 1798.83)  Read our guide to find how who has accessed your personal information and how to opt-out of of future sharing.  You can also learn what rights you have if a business refuses to disclose the source of the information they have on you.

Junk Mail FAQ

Fact Sheet 4bJunk Mail FAQ

Junk Faxes: No Relief in Sight

Fact Sheet 5aJunk Faxes:
No Relief in Sight

Anti-Spam Resources

Fact Sheet 20Anti-Spam Resources

Sign Up for the Direct Marketing Assoc.'s MPS, Form Letter

Sample letter to sign up for Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service.




To the Mail Preference Service:

Please register my name and address with the Mail Preference Service. 

Please set my preferences as follows:

Criminals Disguised as Cupid for Valentine’s Day

Don’t Let More than Your Heart Get Stolen. In the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, many consumers are feeling hopeful, romantic, and generous – feelings online criminals prey on in order to scam you. Most online scams fool you into clicking on malicious (dangerous) links. This week, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse urges consumers to be especially cautious online.

Junk Faxes: They Are Now OK with a "Business" Relationship

Until recently, the law on fax advertising was simple and straightforward: No one could send a fax advertisement without your prior consent. Of course, this did not stop the deluge of unwanted faxes touting hot stocks, mortgage offers, and vacation deals. Now, adding to the frustration, Congress has created an exception for fax advertisements sent when you have an “established business relationship,” or EBR, with the sender.

Comments to the Federal Communications Commission Regarding Implementation of The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005

Fifteen years ago when Congress passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), it made what seemed an unambiguous declaration: Unsolicited advertisements to fax machines were prohibited without the recipient's prior express permission. Clear though it sounds, the public's efforts to stop unwanted fax solicitations have had a long and tortuous history. The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 creates a loophole that will surely reverse even the modest progress made against unwanted junk faxes.

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