So you decided to buy one of those “As Seen On TV” products from a website that caught your attention. Suddenly, your phone is constantly ringing, your inbox is clogged with junk, and even your snail mail is filled with adverts.
Follow these simple instructions and we can help end the spamming once and for all.
Why am I getting all these phone calls and emails and is this legal?
Telephone solicitations to your home phone and landline are essentially legal, albeit with some restrictions. According to the FCC, all telemarketers must identify themselves, they must not call before 8am or 9pm and must comply with any do-not-call request immediately.
How to stop telemarketing phone calls:
1. Down-and-dirty method: Do not answer unfamiliar numbers and/or block their calls.
For the iPhone 6, once they have called go to Recents and then tap the blue “I” – scroll to the bottom and click Block Contact.
Android can be a little more complicated, or you can use Mr. Number to block calls and spam.
2. Put your numbers in the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
- Website: http://www.donotcall.gov/
- 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY) – you must use the phone you want to register. Telemaketers have 31 days to comply.
Tip: While some states discontinued their Do Not Call lists since the advent of the national database in 2003, some have continued to maintain a list or offer consumer resources. Check your state on this list.
3. Report violators
If you feel they have violated the law, you can file a complaint with the National Do Not Call Registry online or by phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
Tip: Do Not Call lists do not affect charities, surveys, politicians, and companies you have done business with in the past. For any of these or others that didn’t get the message, just use the magic words: “Please put me on your internal do not call list.”
How to stop unwanted texts:
Text 7726 (SPAM) – future texts will be blocked. Works with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon amongst others. Check with your provider if you’re not sure.
How to stop email SPAM:
Many computer based email programs, such as Mail or Outlook have built-in features, and so do mail programs like Gmail and Yahoo. However, crafty spammers often still get through – for those, you can flag and block future emails.
Blocking instructions for:
Be careful when it comes to “unsubscribing” buttons. While most “legitimate” solicitations that end up in your inbox give you a button to unsubscribe, the bad news is that so do the shady ones who will then send you even more!
While in theory you can most easily unsubscribe from corporate emails (like ones from Target, Walmart, etc.) you need to be careful about any other sites or ones posing as legit.
However, one angry blogger complains that SPAM emails have exploded ever since he tried unsubscribing using SafeUnsubscribe, run by Constant Contact.
If you feel this has happened to you, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, which insist they are cracking down on this practice.
Tip: create a special email address just for stuff you sign up for online.
How to stop junk mail:
Direct mail is the polite name for junk mail, a billion dollar business that is in some measures quite successful; it is estimated more than 70% of people bought something from a catalogue or other item of direct mail.
However, sometimes enough is enough, and you have the right to control what ends up mailbox.
If you are trying to get rid of offers from credit cards or insurance companies, you have a choice. You can opt for a 5-year hiatus or a permanent ban.
To opt out for 5 years call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com. To opt out permanently you must do so online.
There is also a National Do Not Mail list where you can get your name off many direct mail company lists.
You can also visit DMA Choice, an organization run by the Direct Marketing Association, who state their mission is to ensure responsible advertising. They have a program called a mailbox makeover where they promise you can get your name on a master list used by 3,600 organizations.
DMA Choice also has an email opt-out service and Do Not Call Registries for Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
If you follow all these steps, your phone should stop ringing from marketers, your inbox should be SPAM-free, and your mailbox filled only with the stuff you want or need.
Let us know what you think of this article. Did it help you finally slay the SPAM monster?