HOWTO: Stop the Direct Marketers

Scott writes,

Over the last 3 years, I bought a new vehicle, and I completely refurnished an apartment, including appliances & electronics. Over the last 2 years, I’ve been inundated with crap mail for pre-approved credit offers, and warnings my warranties are about to expire, or that I “may be under insured,” etc. Usually, if they include a pre-paid envelope, I do the old rip it up & send it back thing, but I’d rather not get them to begin with.”

Here’s how to stop the bulk of the direct marketers:

  • Stop Telemarketers. Sign up with the National Do Not Call Registry.

  • Stop Junk Mail. Register with the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Mail Preference Service. This puts you on ‘do not mail’ list, distributed regularily to all the DMA’s members. The DMA counts most of the major bulk mailers among its constituents.

  • Stop Pre-Screened Credit Card Offers. Call (888) 567-8688 or visit

Paranoid these tactics won’t work? Good. Read this snopes article we cribbed from which explains how and why these are viable steps and not scams.