Stop Junk Mail with the FTC Quickly and Easily

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm, is not licensed to practice law, and is not equivalent to the services of a licensed lawyer. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help, and does not offer legal services. Third party news articles mentioned on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of the company, or the current services that we offer.

Take Back Control and Stop Junk Mail with the FTC

Junk mail has become a growing problem for many people around the country. More and more, our mailboxes are getting crammed with tons of unwanted garbage. While many choose to just endure it, others are finding ways to , sometimes with the help of agencies like the Federal Trade Commission. If you want to , the fine folks at DoNotPay have just what you need to do it.

What Counts as Junk Mail?

Many things might qualify as junk mail. At the most basic, junk mail can be defined as any unwanted mail that ends up in your mailbox. Some common examples would be:

  • Advertisements
  • Credit card offers
  • Special offers and other solicitations
  • Cable or internet providers asking you to switch service
  • Local magazines

Why Am I Getting Junk Mail in the First Place?

Why you're getting junk mail isn't always clear. For some, they may have signed up to receive it and forgot. For others, they might have had their information added to a company's mailing list because it was exposed by another organization. Still, others find themselves getting mail sent to whoever happens to live at their address with no care for who actually receives it. Regardless of why, it's super annoying, and most people want it to stop.

Can I Opt-Out of Junk Mail for Someone Else?

For the most part, you can opt-out of junk mail on someone else's behalf. The process should be the same or similar whether you're contacting a company for yourself or for someone else. That said, it's common courtesy to get someone's permission before you do it, so don't just go around canceling mail for people that they'd still like to be receiving.

Should I Opt-Out Permanently or Just for a Certain Time Period?

Depending on the junk mail you're getting, you might have the option to opt-out of receiving it permanently or for a set period. Most commonly, this would be between one and five years after requesting companies stop mailing to you.

How you want to handle your junk mail opt-out is ultimately your choice. It would certainly lessen the burden on your mail carrier if they aren't being forced to shove tons of things into your box each day. If you know for certain you don't need any of what's being sent, opting out permanently is probably your best option. However, if you do think you might find some of the ads interesting or coupons you get from certain mailers useful, you might just want to put a temporary stop to it until other junk mail starts to slow down.

How to Stop Junk Mail with the FTC on Your Own

If you feel up to the challenge, it is possible to use the FTC's guidance to cancel your junk mail on your own. While the steps aren't overly complicated, it is a deceptively frustrating task if you want to see real results. To do this, you'll have to follow several steps:

Opting Out of Marketing Mail

If the mail you no longer want to receive comes primarily from marketers, cable companies, and magazines like Spectrum, Toyota dealerships, or others, the steps you'll need to take must be tailored to them specifically. The FTC outlines these steps as such:

  1. Register an account with the Direct Marketing Association website (
  2. Pay the $2 processing fee. Your registration will be valid for 10 years.
  3. Find the magazines and advertisements you've subscribed to already and unsubscribe from them.

Opting Out of Prescreening Mail

If the mail you no longer want to receive comes primarily from credit card companies or insurance brokers like Geico, State Farm, Capital One, or others, the steps you'll need to take will be slightly different from unsubscribing from mail sent by the DMA affiliates. The FTC outlines these steps like this:

  1. Visit or call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688).
  2. Provide the personal information asked on the online form or by the phone operator. This will include your name, birth date, address, and Social Security number. You may choose to withhold some of this information, but this will usually mean your request takes longer to process.
  3. If you've only chosen to opt-out for five years, submitting this information will be the end of it until that time is up. If you want to opt-out permanently, you will need to wait for a physical form to be sent to you in the mail.
  4. Fill out the form you got in the mail, then send it back. After processing, you should no longer receive this kind of junk mail without opting back in.

Next Steps for Stopping Junk Mail if You Can't Do It Yourself with FTC Help

If the above solutions aren't getting you the results you want, the steps you can take on your own are limited. As a last resort, you could try to:

  • Contact the post office and ask if they can return junk mail to its sender. This has a low possibility of success simply because the post office is only in charge of delivering mail, not preventing it from getting to its destination.
  • Contact the companies directly and ask that they manually take you off their mailing lists. This may work, but you have to hope you're lucky enough to get connected to someone who will actually do as you ask.
  • If your junk mail comes with pre-paid postage, you can resend it through the mail multiple times. This costs the company a small amount of money each time the post office processes the shipment, and they might get so annoyed at losing profits that they stop sending things to you altogether. Obviously, this is very unlikely to happen.

Use DoNotPay to Stop Junk Mail With the FTC

If you don't have the time or the patience to deal with these problems yourself, DoNotPay is what you need. You can in just four easy steps:

  1. Search "DoNotMail" on the DoNotPay website.
  2. Upload a picture of the physical junk mail you've gotten.
  3. Enter the name of the company that's sending the mail.
  4. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy, knowing we've just ended your junk mail problem for you.

Why Should You Use DoNotPay to Solve the FTCJunk Mail Problem?

DoNotPay can handle all of your junk mail problems and then some, and there are a few good reasons why you should use our service. We are:

FastOur services get things done quickly and only take a few minutes to complete.
SimpleThe sum total of work you need to do is uploading some pictures and typing in some names.
EffectiveWe're sure to get things done right.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do for You?

Cleaning up your mailbox is just one part of the DoNotPay experience. We can take care of a variety of issues people have, all for a single price. Some of the potential problems you might face that we can solve are linked below:

Want your issue solved now?