De-Spamming Yourself

Whether a mere annoyance or a lucrative venue for thieves, solicitations via phone, mail or the internet may seem an inescapable element of modern life. But, like other privacy issues, there are steps you can take to mitigate the problem.

First, the Direct Marketing Association maintains a service through which consumers can remove themselves from mail, phone and email solicitation lists used by association members.

Get off Lists

Mail Lists

To get off the mail list, write to:

Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9008
Farmingdale, NY 11735

When giving your name, use full names, nicknames and any other combination that a solicitor may use.

Phone Lists

To get off the phone list, send your name, address and phone number to:

Telephone Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 9014
Farmingdale, NY 11735

Make sure you provide all phone numbers you may use.


You also might want to try these tips:

  • If you get an unwanted email, don’t click the "remove me" option that many such mails offer. In many cases, all that means is that the mail has hit an active address, which only means more solicitations.
  • Set up an email garbage address. Use one email address for transactions and other activities that may lead to spams. Use another for all private communication.
  • Besieged by telephone solicitations? Just tell them not to call again. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 stipulates that they have to do if you ask. If they happen to call again, you may be able to sue them for $500 in a "private right of action" in local court.
  • Contact your credit card company and find out how to take part in their "opt out" program. This prevents your name from being passed around to solicitors and other companies with whom your cardholder deals.