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Posted: 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008

Go online to cut down on junk mail, credit card offers

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Clark is adamant about shutting down junk mail -- not exactly cold, but maybe cool, as he says! The Direct Marketing Association offers a free, online-only service at DMAChoice.org that allows you to stop catalogs and junk mail -- or get more of them, if you desire. Most legit mailers are a member of the DMA, so this could reduce your load of junk mail by up to two-thirds. When you're at the DMA site, you may see a direct link to OptOutPreScreen.com, which will prevent the major credit bureaus from sending pre-approved credit card applications to you. One other website you may want to check out is WorldPrivacyForum.org, which is a clearinghouse for all these matters Clark has been discussing.

One word of advice: People are sometimes afraid to use the DMA site because you have to give a credit card number to verify your identity. You will not be charged. This practice was put in place because some folks were putting others' names on the receive list just to annoy them. When it comes to the OptOut site, people are scared of ID theft because you have to give your Social Security number. But you actually help prevent ID theft by cutting down on pre-approved applications that may be going to an old address where they could be picked up by ID thieves.
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