Reducing Unwanted Calls and Mail
The Attorney General’s Office offers the following tips for reducing telemarketing calls and unwanted mail.
Place Your Number on the National Do Not Call Registry
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains a national “do not call” list called the National Do Not Call Registry. You may register up to three phone numbers (including your cell phone number) by visiting donotcall.gov or calling (888) 382-1222.
Telemarketers covered by the National Do Not Call Registry have up to 31 days from the date you register to stop calling you.
Not all telemarketing calls are blocked. Some calls are exempt or are not covered by the do not call law. Examples of such calls include:
- Political calls,
- Nonprofits soliciting contributions on their own behalves, and
- Calls from companies that only conduct surveys.
Place Your Number on In-house Do Not Call Lists
Some companies, such as those hired to call on behalf of nonprofits, or those with whom you have an established business relationship, are not required to stop calling you even though your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. These companies must, however, maintain in-house do not call lists. You must ask each company to be put on its individual in-house do not call list. Once you make such a request, the company must stop calling you.
Companies that violate this law and continue to call you may be subject to a fine.
Report a Violation to the FTC
To file a complaint or to report a violation, contact the FTC as follows:
Federal Trade Commission
Bureau of Consumer Protection
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20580
Avoid "do not call" scamsCalls asking you to confirm your registration on the National Do Not Call Registry by providing personal information or charging you a pre-registration fee are scams. The FTC does not allow private companies or other third parties to "pre-register" consumers. Registration under the do not call law is free and no confirmation of personal information is necessary.
"Opt Out" of Pre-approved Credit Card Offers
The four major credit bureaus sell lists of individuals who meet certain credit criteria. To remove your name from the generated lists, call the “opt out” hotline for the four major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and Trans Union at: (888) 5-OPT-OUT (888-567-8688) or “opt out” online at: www.optoutprescreen.com. You may choose to “opt out” of such offers for five years or permanently. If you do choose to “opt out,” and decide that you want to receive such offers again, you can “opt in.”
You may also mail a written "opt out" request to the four credit bureaus at the following addresses:
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 919
Allen, TX 75013
|Innovis Customer Assistance
P.O. Box 495
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-0495
Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094-0505
"Opt Out" of Mailing Lists Generated by Companies with which You do Business
Some companies that you do business with sell or trade your name and address unless you specifically request that your information be kept private. In some cases, when you order from a catalog or apply for a credit card, there will be a small box for you to check if you wish to "opt out" of its mailing distribution list. If you want to protect your privacy, you may tell companies you do business with not to sell your personal information.
Put Your Name on Data & Marketing Association, Inc.’s "Mail Preference Service" List
The Data & Marketing Association, Inc. (DMA) is a trade association of companies that send solicitations to the public. If you wish to "opt out" of DMA mailing lists, you may send a letter with your complete name (including variations), mailing address, and signature, along with a check or money order made out to DMA in the amount of $3 to:
Data & Marketing Association
P.O. Box 900
Cos Cob, CT 06807
Your name should be removed from DMA member lists for three years. (It may take up to three months for you to see a decrease in the amount of mail you receive.) Remember, this does not eliminate all unwanted mail. You will continue to receive mail from companies and organizations that do not belong to the DMA.
For more information about telemarketing calls and unwanted mail, contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office as follows:
Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 1400
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 296-3353 (Twin Cities Calling Area)
(800) 657-3787 (Outside the Twin Cities)
TTY: (651) 297-7206 or TTY: (800) 366-4812
Guarding Your Privacy
Identity theft is on the rise nationwide and is helped along by lenders and creditors who are willing to grant thousands of dollars in credit in mere minutes with little or no proof of identity. This booklet will help you guard your privacy, protect your personal information and avoid identity fraud.
The Do Not Call Registry and Unwanted Calls
Many people are bombarded by unwanted telephone calls - even though they are on the Do Not Call Registry. The problem is difficult to stop because the scam artists increasingly use modern technology - including caller ID spoofing and throw-away cell phones - to conceal their identity and location and evade law enforcement.
Reducing Unwanted Mail to Seniors
Some senior citizens are overwhelmed by unwanted mail from bogus senders—ranging from fake foreign lotteries to scam charities to fortune tellers to chain letters and investment schemes. Once a citizen gets on these mailing lists, it becomes very difficult to stop future mailings. This is because criminals regularly trade and sell mailing lists of citizens who they believe to be susceptible to fraud.