Many people use a post office (P.O.) box to receive business or personal mail. Unfortunately, P.O. boxes are just as vulnerable to an onslaught of junk mail as a physical home or business address. You can prevent your P.O. box from being stuffed with unwanted catalogs, fliers and other junk mail if you know how to opt out. You won't be able to stop every piece of unwanted mail, but you can significantly cut down on it.
Remove your P.O. box address from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) database. DMA is an association made up of many direct marketing companies. They will stop bombarding you with mailers if you go through the opt-out process on the DMA website. DMA explains that its members are responsible for about 80 percent of mailed solicitations.
Renew your opt out with DMA after three years. Your opt out will expire after that time frame and your P.O. box will start receiving junk mail from DMA members again unless you renew your request.
Opt out of pre-screened credit card and insurance offers sent to your P.O. box through the Optoutprescreen website. This site is run by the credit reporting agencies. It allows consumers to stop the selling of their credit card information to solicitors, explains the Federal Trade Commission. You will be able to choose a five-year opt out or a permanent halt to credit and insurance junk mail.
Call your financial institutions and other companies with which you do ongoing business and ask them to remove your from their mailing lists. You can request removal from their internal telemarketing lists at the same time. Companies that have an established business relationship with you will often continue to send junk mail to your P.O. box until you specifically ask them to stop.
Question any company that asks for your mailing address when there is no apparent need. Many retailers will ask for your address specifically to add you to their junk mail lists. Refuse to give our your P.O. box information unless there is a legitimate reason, and state that you do not want it added to any mailing lists.
Do not send in warranty cards, as IdentityThefy.com warns that they are usually a way for companies to collect addresses for their mailing lists. These cards usually ask for demographic information that makes your P. O. box even more valuable to marketers. Your product will still be covered under its warranty even if you do not return the card, just save your proof of purchase.
Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."