Drowning in Junk Mail – How to Stop Scam Junk Mail Using a Prohibitory Order

If you have gotten any of the letters in this post TOSS THEM IN THE GARBAGE!! They will bring nothing but heartache and an empty wallet. If you get a lot of this type of mail I am going to show you how to stop it.

Scams from St. Louis MO

Everyone of these letters is called a 419 scam. It is named after the law code in Nigeria where the scam is prevalent. It is also called advanced fee fraud. The scam is they promise you something (money, a mystery box, I have an example with a car) But in order for you to get the whatever it is you must give them some money first. It usually hovers around $20. It is a lie, you won’t be getting whatever it is they have promised you. This mail will be the most beautiful, look the most official, and scream OPEN ME!

American Fiduciary Disbursements, Bellevill, NJ

DON’T! If you give money to one of them in hopes of getting the prize, you will be put on a mailing list of the worst kind, and you will get a blizzard of scam junk mail.

30 junk mail scams

Every week I receive about 30 scam letters. Well not me, my family has redirected a relative’s mail to me. She has dementia and can no longer care for herself. While going through her papers we found that about 3 years ago she started sending money to these people. She would very carefully photocopy the letter, send it off with a check, and then file the photocopy away, all in hopes of getting the prize. Now I get 30 scam letters a week, and her phone gets upwards of 20 calls a day from Jamaica and other far off lands, all asking for money.

American Claims & Reporting Center (ARC) Daniel P. Kennedy

Let’s tune into a special report from KTVN channel 2 Reno/Tahoe. See the National Consumers League doesn’t want you to send them in either. The only problem with that report is that they don’t tell you how to make the scam mail go away. Today I am going to teach you how.


First sign up for DMA Choice (If you want to do more you can Opt-out of Big Data). Then wait, the junk mail should stop in about 90 days (It didn’t for me, but that is why I am writing a blog isn’t it). If you are still getting scam junk mail after that, it is time to bring out the big guns: USPS From 1500. It’s original purpose was to stop pornography, but now it can be used to stop any mail  that is selling something. Good thing that asking for $20 to get $10 million is considered selling something. It only works on mail based in the USA. Scammers share their “suckers list” often. Word will spread across the pond quickly enough. It does not work on 501c(3) charities or 501c(4) PACs unless they are selling something, just asking for a donation or giving away free tote bags don’t count. But having a sweepstakes does.


Project suplies
For this project you will need: A pen, a stapler, envelopes, stamps, cheap copy paper, a printer, and scam junk mail. Optional: The free return address labels that came in other junk mail, and Avery address labels.

I would also recommend picking the smallest mailpiece a scammer sends to you, it will cost the least postage. But if they only send a full sized newspapers as ads, break out a giant manila envelope and send away.

Prohibitory Order From 1500
Next download USPS form 1500 (PDF) also called a  Prohibitory Order. This is an excellent walk through of the process from Knowmore.org (the web site seems to be down, so I am linking to the Wayback Machine version)

I bought the cheapest copy paper I could find, and set my printer to the lightest setting. I didn’t want to waste good paper and toner on these scammers. I have highlighted all the boxes you need to fill in.

From 1500
The form is overly complicated. Mostly because we aren’t using it the way it was originally intended to be used. Just remember to initial box 1 and 1a and you are golden.

Staple it all togeather
After you fill out the form, staple the entire contents of the letter to the form. This includes the outer envelope.

Stuff to stick to the envelope
This is where all that other junk mail comes in handy. It seems like every other charity has sent me return address labels. This sheet is from the National Park Foundation. It had about 40 labels. For most people that should be enough for a year. For me? 2 weeks. Good thing other charities sent me more.

Putting a form 1500 into an envelope
Slap the return address label, the Avery label and a stamp on the envelope. Then fold the stapled junk mail into the envelope.

14 form 1500's going to the Pricing Classification Service Center
Sent it off to Pricing and Classification Service Center PO Box 1500 New York, NY 10008-1500.

Form 1500 recipts
You should get a reply back in 2 weeks. I am probably the only person who has ever sent over 70 of these out.

Form 1500 recipts
If you fill it out right, you will get a conformation letter that they have stopped the mail from coming to your house. The Prohibitory Order will last 5 years, and will take effect 30 days after the scammer gets the order from the post office.

With this batch I also got the letter that goes to the scammer. They are ordered to:
1. To refrain from any mailing to the addressee, effective on the 30th calendar day after the receipt of this order.
2. To delete immediately the addressee from all mailing lists controlled by you or your agents or assigns.
3. To abstain immediately from the sale, rental, exchange, or other transaction mailing lists bearing the name of the addressee.

Form 1500 bounce back
If you fill it wrong, you will get the entire letter back, and a copy of form 1500 highlighted with the pink highlighter of doom. It is OK, just fill it out again (check your work this time) and send it back.
One week I messed up an entire batch and they all came back 😦 But the next day free stamps came with the junk mail. I love when the junk mail pays me to stop it. 🙂

The next step is, if they send another piece of junk mail I am supposed to write “I received this mailpiece on (date)” with a copy of the Prohibitory Order and the order number and sent it to the New York office. It hasn’t gotten to that point yet. It will be fun when it does.


 

Update: Going to Step 2

Alternatives going to step 2
It had to happen, after sending out over 70 form 1500’s someone had to slip-up and ignore me. On the Prohibitory Order is the date they sent it to you. The scammer has 30 days from that date to stop sending you mail. On the 31st day you can go to step 2.

This is what it looks like when you go to Step 2. I wrote “I received this on (date)” and signed it, on the on the outside of the mailpiece and again on the return envelope. I photocopied the letters that the postoffice sent to me, put it all into an envelope and sent it off.

This is what I got back a couple of weeks later:

Form 1500 Step 2

This letter is for me:

Based on the evidence you furnished us regarding a possible violation of Prohibitory Order 2080212, we have issued a Complaint (PS form 2153) against the mailer involed. A copy of the Complaint is enclosed for your records.

It has been our experiance that most mailers abide by the provisions of a Prohibitory Order issued against them under 39 USC 3008. However, in some cases, additional steps are necessary. Issuing a Complaint is the first step in the process designed to end violation of a Prohibitory Order.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

This letter is for the scammer:

This concerns violation of Prohibitory Order number 2080212 issued against you and your agents or assigns on behalf of [name]

On 06/30/2014, you received a Prohibitory Order (see copy attached) issued under USC 3008 upon request of the above-named addressee. I have received evidence that the Prohibitory Order has been violated as follows:

BY FAILING TO DELETE IMMEDIATELY THE NAME OF THE ADDRESSEE (AND OF EACH CHILD) LISTED IN THE ORDER FROM MAILING LISTS OWNED OR CONTROLLED BY YOU OR YOUR AGENTS OR ASSIGNS.

A copy of the face of the mailpiece is attached.

Any response to the Complaint or petition for a hearing with respect to it must be filed with me, in writing within 15 days after receipt of this Complaint. Attached is a copy of the rules of practice for hearings on such matters. Any petition for a hearing must comply fully with §963.3(a) of these rules.

For those of you that like to read postal law: Title 39 Code OF Federal Regulations Part 963 Rules of Practice in Proceedings Relative to Violations of The Pandering Advertisements Statue, 39 U.S.C. 3008

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12 thoughts on “Drowning in Junk Mail – How to Stop Scam Junk Mail Using a Prohibitory Order

  1. Did you ever try this 1500 form with mail that is sent to “Resident” rather than a specifically named person? I cannot get Comcast to stop sending us mail. I’ve tried different methods, but it keeps coming.

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  2. Hi my name Lourds Reyes. I would like to Thank you so much so letting me know that this letter i got in my mail is a scam and i was about to make out a money order to them because i really need a jab at home I am from new you brookyln i have a disabitly that stops me from working outside but that would have make me really upset if i would had mail out the money that i really didn’t have and i have two young boys to take care of. I just wanted to thank you for letting people know out there about whats going on. Thank you and god bless you.

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  3. Hi, thank you for your blog. My grandmother is losing all of her money and assets to Douglas Ramsey and the family is looking for a way to stop him. Will this work if my aunt, who has power of attorney, sends this to USIS on behalf of my grandmother? Thank you so much for all you have done to help protect our seniors.

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  4. Want to thank you for the information regarding ” STOP these bogus sweepstakes letters!” To say that I’m drowning in them would be putting it mildly!!! Although it sounds like a lot of work, it will be worth it if I can stop all that nonsense!!! Thanks again !
    Regards,
    Julia Mann

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  5. What do you do when you get something that doesn’t actually have your address stamped or labeled on it? How do you fight that? I am told that those are just sorted by machine and sent to every single house and that there’s no way to stop the post office for sending one to you. How can this be legal? Does anyone know how we can fight this? Is there a movement to join?

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    • Although I haven’t been able to get Comcast to stop sending junk mail, I was able to get one of those places that has your address but no specific name on the mailings to stop mailing. They tried to tell me there was no way to exclude an address, but I insisted it was possible and within my rights to have honored. They dug a littl deeper and were able to fix it.

      Unfortunately, not long after that, the post office began delivering a newer variety junk mail that was addressed to residents within my zip code/town–no street number, no street even–sometimes not even that much, just “postal customer” on the mailing. That type probably can’t be dealt with other than going straight to the recycle. They’re not going to opt out the whole zip code.

      Even when I had one of those repeated mailings with an address but no name (different and much earlier junk mail removal experience), they honored my request, but the post office kept giving my neighbor’s copy of that mail because everyone gets it, and they didn’t bother noticing there wasn’t one for my street number. That company was among the first to switch to the generic postal customer within the zip code (no address) format; so, I get their junk every week any which way.

      Long story short: If your street address is on the mailing, sometimes trying to get off those lists does work, but sometimes, even when it does work, the post office keeps deliverying the mail (erroneously) and/or the company finds a way around it.

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  6. Hi Darthjenni

    In December became clearly aware that our mother has been being scammed for $100.00’s of dollars a month via mail and phone, they got her bank and credit card info and even convinced her to start mailing them cash. That is when the postal inspector stepped in and we were able to confront her directly. We had known for few months that she was likely sending checks out, but she would deny it. She is 82 and beginning to have dementia for sure.
    Her credit cards are a mess. We have closed them, processed several fraudulent charges but I believe over the years she has had many fraudulent charges that she did not keep up with.
    I am going through her pile of mail. She was quite organized. Every scammer had their own file folder. Unfortunately by the time I got to them she had started tearing them up on advise from PI. I am making my way through that and have found many of the same items that I have seen on your blog.
    I have yet to dig through her bank records thoroughly. All of the information is going into spreadsheets – though not sure what to do next with it.

    My big question is how much chance is there of recovering any of the money that she was conned out of? Several of these were out of the country but there are also American addresses not even counting all of the political mailings out of Washington, DC. Because they were from Washington, DC it had to be important!

    Anyway, I am certainly glad to have found your blog. It seems that this is a huge problem for many people. Perhaps ‘there ought to be a law…’.

    Deb O

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