Mainers bombarded with junk mail; try these 3 steps to stop it
PORTLAND (WGME) -- The I-Team is on your side as Mainers are being bombarded with junk mail.
We've heard your complaints about mailboxes crammed with stuff you don't want.
One woman says she's overwhelmed and frustrated by all of it, and we found lots of viewers dealing with this same mail mess.
From A to Z, Glorianne Chute keeps track of everyone sending her mail and her list is 26 pages, front and back.
“All these things that come through the mail are just too much,” Chute said.
She's received more than 1,000 donation requests, magazine offers, credit card applications and some scams, too.
“Every day more comes, and I get appeals from companies or outfits I've never heard of,” Chute said.
And she's certainly not alone.
According to the postal service, marketers send more than 100 billion pieces of mail every year.
Donna Godfrey says she, too, is tired of having her mailbox stuffed with all this unsolicited mail.
“They all want my money!” Godfrey said.
If you want to stop getting unsolicited mail, the Federal Trade Commission says there are three steps to take.
- Start with the Direct Marketers Association. Here you can decide what mail you want, and what you don't.
- Stop credit card offers at optoutprescreen.com.
- If you do give money to a charity, ask them to only contact you once a year, and to not rent, sell or trade your name and address.
We brought the issue, and some of the mail, to Attorney General Janet Mills. She says while a lot of this comes from reputable organizations, her big concern is mail fraud targeting Maine seniors.
“Make sure it's legitimate before you send money to that cause,” Mills said. “If you're not sure, ask a friend, family member to check your mail for you; verify it's legit or not legit.”
Recycling center ecomaine is also interested in stopping the flow of junk mail.
Every year they recycle more than 20,000 tons of paper, and a lot of that is junk mail.
Another question people wanted to know: How are all these organizations and companies getting my name?
We learned mailing lists can easily be rented or purchased.
Your name and address most often come from public records and phone directories.