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Office of Consumer Protection

Junk Mail & Email

Is your mailbox and email inbox stuffed with junk ? Companies use direct mailings as a way to get you to purchase their product. Your name and address are added to mailing lists in many ways but the most common way is when you provide your information to a company when purchasing something. This company usually compiles the information on you and "rents" it to another company who will then send you a direct mailing. While you may want to purchase items from some of the mailings you receive, there may be others that you would prefer not to receive.

It is practically impossible to stop all the mailings and emails but you can reduce them by registering with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). There is a fee of $2 dollar for a ten year registration period on your mail but registering email is free. To stop the rest of your unwanted mail you can also contact the companies directly and tell them to remove you from their mailing lists. If you are seeking to remove a deceased person from a mailing list register with the Deceased Do Not Contact Registration. There is no fee for this registration.

CAN-SPAM Rule administered by the Federal Trade Commission sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.  Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.

Note, junk mail can also be a lure for fraud through false advertising and unwanted emails can be cleverly disguised cyberattacks.  

 

 

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