Cut the Clutter!

Stop Unwanted Spam and Marketing Messages

When you open your email inbox, you’re probably not excited to see several dozen unopened marketing messages from companies you don’t know. When you walk out to the mailbox, finding a bunch of envelopes with advertisements and bills isn’t exactly exciting. Check your voicemail, and you’ll only want to hear messages from friends, not recordings or telemarketers trying to sell you things. The same applies to your phone calls: if you get a lot of calls from people that aren’t supposed to be calling you, that’s a nuisance, to say the least. If you have any of these issues, listen up.

You’ve probably found yourself in this situation before: dozens of unopened emails and letters that you don’t intend to read, and several calls from companies that you don’t intend to talk to. It can seem endless, but there are some simple ways to get rid of the mess and reduce the spam.

The Federal Trade Commission has a free national Do Not Call List at This will stop telemarketing calls.

The Direct Marketing Association has Do Not Mail and Do Not Email lists that you can register for at This will stop DMA members from mailing and emailing you.

1. The DMA also offers several different lists for different situations, such as a Deceased Do Not Contact list, which permanently takes the person off all DMA member lists, and a Caretaker Do Not Contact List, which registers you for all three lists.

2. The Do Not Email is free, but the other lists all cost $1 each to register. is the website of the official consumer credit reporting industry and allows you to stop getting advertisements for credit cards.1. You can opt out for five years on the website, or permanently through a form that you mail in.

Cut the Clutter!

If you are getting packets of ads or coupons or samples addressed to “resident” or “occupant,” you can request to be removed from the following companies’ mailing lists by contacting them:

1. ADVO, Inc., List Service, 239 West Service Road, Hartford, CT 06120. OR call (860) 520-3361

2. Carol Wright Gifts, Customer Service, 100 Nixon Lane, P.O. Box 7823, Edison, NY 08818. OR call (732) 287-8811

3. Harte Hanks Data Services, List Maintenance, 6701 Baymeadow Dr., Suite D, Glen Burnie, MD 21060-6401. OR call (800) 456-9748

4. Cox Target Media (Val-Pak), P.O. Box 13428, St. Petersburg, FL, 33733. OR call (888) 797-1896

Finally, here are some tips to avoid getting more and more spam cluttering your inbox.

1. If you have to type your email out online for some reason, don’t type it regularly, because it can be scanned. Type it out like: person(at)yahoo(dot)com.

2. Never open an attachment in an email that is from a company or someone you don’t know, and don’t open links either.

3. Spam emails often have very ambiguous subjects, as well as frequent misspellings. If you catch something like this, go ahead and delete it.

4. Report it as spam in your email service, but do not hit an “unsubscribe” link in the email. If you unsubscribe from the emails, you may get more, because you just confirmed your email as real.

5. As a basic rule, if you don’t recognize the email or the person, delete it!