Are we losing the junk mail war?

WordPress tells me the biggest single search that brings people to this blog is opt out information – for every kind of junk mail. It used to be specifically Market Value Place, Geico, and once in a while, Chase Bank. Now there’s so much junk mail coming from every direction, especially from credit card companies, most of which I’ve never heard of.

These bother me particularly because they contain personal information that can be used to fraud my family. Last week I caught a transient rifling through my recycling bin at 2:00 in the afternoon, within five yards of my mailbox. 

These mailers never seem to give opt-out information, unless it’s the usual advice to contact Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  These companies require your social security number to remove you from the mailing lists, which I find absurd. 

Of course, you’ve heard the latest about Equifax:

https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/what-consumers-need-to-know-about-the-equifax-data-breach/

Why do I need my SSN to get off mailing lists? Isn’t my name and address enough? These junk mailers can get my information from these “consumer reporting” companies, but I can’t access my own personal information or control it without giving up my SSN? To a company that flings it into the “dark web”? 

For now I’ve been shredding this junk into my food composter, but I don’t know if that’s good for my grubs. It’s frustrating that we have laws that are not enforced – they are supposed to put an “opt out” contact on the mailer, but now they get away with sending you to the credit reporting agencies. Agencies that report your personal information to any Tom, Dick or Sally that comes along. 

But local junk advertisers are easier to reach. Whenever I get a piece of junk from a local mailer I call the business(es) listed on the mailer and tell them I don’t do business with junk mailers. The other day I got a postcard from a local realtor – I called the guy and politely told him, my husband and I have bought and sold a few houses here in Chico, and we have a few more deals ahead of us, and we don’t get our realtors off junk mail.   We get them off realty signs that say “SOLD!” I told him he’d lost my business before he even had a chance to get it, because he put garbage in my mailbox.  I don’t forget names. 

I was very nice, and he thanked me, but I don’t know if I got  to him. Well, I’ll tell you what, Blake, if I get another post card from you, I’m going to call you again, and here’s some advice – don’t answer your cell phone when you’re driving.

That’s all I’ve got for you right now folks. If I ever get the nerve to send my SSN to Equifax, I’ll let you know. Until then I feed it to the grubs. 

 

 

 

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