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Junk Mail Be Gone

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Since it's Consumer Protection Week, it's time to protect your mail box and e-mail from unwanted solicitations. Unwanted junk mail fills up your mail box and trash bin (or, hopefully your recycle bin) and you waste time deleting e-mail spam messages.

The Direct Marketing Association web site allows you to stop receiving credit card offers, catalogs, magazine offers, and other mail offers by simply entering your mailing address and selecting which offers you no longer want to receive. Over 3,600 organizations belong to DMA, and if you say you don't want to receive a member organization's offer or ad, they will stop sending it to you.

Note that if you're already a customer of a certain company, you have to directly contact the company to stop sending you mail. DMA provides the e-mail address, phone number, and address of customer service offices. But if you're just a prospective customer, signing up with DMA gets you off that company's list.

DMA also allows you to opt-out of receiving unwanted marketing e-mails with their e-mail Preference Service.

OptOutPreScreen.com provides a way for you to opt-out of receiving firm offers for credit and insurance. You can opt out for five years or forever. Opting out of prescreened or preapproved offers doesn't mean you're ineligible to apply for credit cards--it just means you get to contact the credit card company when and how you choose.

And what about junk faxes? While it's not as easy to opt-out of receiving junk faxes, the Federal Communications Commission provides information about how to remove your fax number from company lists and the complaint procedure. You can also file a complaint with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

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