3 Ways to Ban Spam and Stop Junk
I work at home, often under high pressure, so I'm not fond of interuptions. And yet they come constantly: spam emails that bury ones I need to see, stupid junk mail I have to sort through, people knocking at my door trying to sell me everything from steak to magazines and phone calls from people trying to sell me something. I'm mad as hell and not going to take it any more! How about you?
On the phone front, we finally acheived a partial victory in September when the Federal Trade Commission finally passed a ban on “Robo-calls.” Telemarketers can be fined up to $16,000 for some of these exceedinly irritating solicitations. But not all robo-calls are banned. You can still get them from politicians, some non-profits and various others.
But there are steps you can take to at least curtail live telemarketers on the phone, spam in your email box and junk in your mailbox.
Junk "snail mail"
To stop junk “snail mail” for redit or insurance, you either go to optoutprescreen.com, or call 888-5OPTOUT. That doesn’t stop all junk: mainly just credit card solicitations. (And the economy has already stopped a lot of those.) But it will help.
When it comes to email, sign up for a personal account to share with people you trust and a private account to use online when you shop or post. Then don’t ever give out the private one. Ever.
What about unsolicited phone calls? Your defense here is the “do-not-call list.” Put your name on it by going to donotcall.gov or calling 888-382-1222. And if someone does call you after your name is on that list, report them to the BBB or FTC.
Also: once a year you’re going to get mail from lenders and other companies you do business with, asking if it’s ok for them to share your personal information with other companies. Don’t throw these away unread: return them and to quote Nancy Reagan: “just say no.”
As for people on the porch? Next time I'm at the hardware store, I'm investing in a "No Soliciting" sign. Pity the idiot who ignores it.
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