Drowning in Junk Mail – How to opt-out of Junk Mail from Specialized Fundraising

Today we are going to be dealing with the underbelly of the fundraising world. The fake charity/fake sweepstakes. This is some very nasty stuff that should be illegal. It is a charity asking for money with the veneer of a sweepstakes.

Child Protection Program charity scam

Child Protection Program scam
Child Protection Program
PO Box 6119
St. Louis, MO 63139-0119

The first red flag is, that this “charity” has no website. It had one once according to Washington State, but it is now dead.

It is apart of Survivors and Victims Empowered. Which made the Tampa Bay Times Worst Charities list. It is run by Phil Sheldon, who is the son of the Rev. Lou Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition. OMG! Get out of my mailbox Sheldon family!! The dad, the daughter and now the son. Charity Navigator page, unrated because it is sub 1 million dollars.


The Breast Cancer Project charity scam

The Brest Cancer Project charity scam
The Breast Cancer Project
PO Box 758544
Topeka, KS 66675-8544

The Breast Cancer Project is a part of:
National Cancer Center, Charity Navigator page 0 stars 68% of budget spent on fundraising.

They also run:


Both of these mailpieces are made by the same direct marketing firm: Specialized Fundraising. Website redirects to Info Group Media Solutions. Specialized Fundraising phone number (864) 579-7755 x111. Nextmark page for Specialized Fundraising. If that doesn’t work this is the Info Group Media Solutions contact page. I do not know if they are the same company of if they just bought the domain name.

You can look through their mailing lists here. You will find a lot of “sound a like” charities:

  • A Child Forever a program of Kids Wish Network
  • American Foundation for Disabled Children
  • Care for Our Wounded Soldiers a program of National Caregiving Foundation
  • Combating Children’s Cancer Foundatoin, a mailing program of Israel Children’s Cancer Foundatoin
  • Committee for Missing Children
  • Contest Cash (National Heart Council)
  • Healing Hero’s Network
  • Help the Vet
  • Israel Children’s Cancer Foundation
  • Kids Wish NetworkTampa Bay Times Worst Charities, AC360 part 1AC360 part 2, AC360 part 3
  • Kids Wish Network Hero of the Month
  • Miracle Flights
  • National Caregivers Foundation
  • Sweepstakes Contributors To Alzheimer’s Research (National Alzheimer’s Council)
  • Sweepstakes Donors To A Diabetes Cause (Defeat Diabetes)
  • Welcome Home Hero a program of Healing Heros Network

Normally I would use a from 1500 to stop mail from these groups because they are sweepstakes. But save a stamp (or 10) and opt-out here. I recommend you send your email to someone on the List Management team. They got back to me very quickly.


From the “the internet never forgets” desk: How the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act of 1999 came to be.

Article by the New York Times about sweepstakes from 1998.

In 1998 Susan Collins and Carl Levin started a sub-committee hearings on sweepstakes in the mail.

CSPAN September 1, 1998

CSPAN March 8, 1999, Victims of sweepstakes junk mail testify.

CSPAN March 9, 1999 skip to 1 hour 5 minutes to see Susan Collins, Carl LevinDick Durbin, John Edwards, and, Arlen Specter grill the heads of American Family Enterprises, Reader’s DigestPublishers Clearing House, and Time Inc., New Media (that is the magazine division) about the misleading sweepstakes mail they send out.

Full transcript of both hearings

One of the topics that comes up in testimony is people flying to Tampa Florida to collect their winnings from American Family Publishers. This happened so many times the St. Petersburg Times collected the stories on one page.

These are the bills they were trying to pass at the time:

The DMA guide to to the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act of 1999.

You have not won yet
I get this with almost every sweepstakes mailpiece, so that is some progress.

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10 thoughts on “Drowning in Junk Mail – How to opt-out of Junk Mail from Specialized Fundraising

  1. So much of these mailings are directed to thew elderly population. I’m an elderly caregiver and was embarassed to see the “sympathetic” requests sent to my clients. These folks would put checks in the mail to any organization that touched their hearts, until I stepped in and advised their daughters to take away their checkbooks, kor they would use up whatever funds they owned. These touching “letters” are disgraceful, and somehow our government must ban them from the mails or e-mails. How do you do that? I do NOT KNOW, but it is stealing from the public. We need help from Congress to establish a “cease and desist” law to get these thieves off the market. Help us do this!

    Like

    • Because they are using a sweepstakes you can use a From 1500 to make them stop. I agree that more needs to be done to stop these people stealing from the elderly. Thank you for being the first line of defense for your clients. Being on the look out for scams should be apart of training for all caregivers for the elderly.

      Like

  2. Hello,

    I’m Officer Matthew Ballantyne with the Tioga Police Department in North Dakota. I’m conducting a large investigation into a mail and wire fraud scheme that described in near identical terms to some of your postings.

    It would be great to receive some information from an informed citizen on how to stop mailings, and other nuisance calls related to these scams, so that I can compile information for the community I serve.

    Please use the web address to find my agency’s contact information, I look forward to speaking with you!

    Officer Matthew Ballantyne, Badge #1133
    Tioga Police Department
    12 1st Street NE
    Tioga, ND 58852

    Like

    • I,ve sent notes to our congressmen and senators from Arizona, but no replies. I do NOT know who else to contact to erase this thievery. The best I can suggest is to tear up these “reward letters” as one receives them. DO NOT RESPOND!!!!!!! Otherwise many elderly folks send checks in w/ the feeling that they MAY win a large sum of $$$$. We certainly could use some forceful help from the powers to be in Washington..

      Like

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