Hello Visitors from Newsy!

A few months ago a reporter from Newsy contacted me asking about junk mail. Some reporters want information about specific groups or a person who keeps popping up whenever you start to research scam PACs or scam charities. Not Karen. She wanted the BIG picture. She wanted to know about Big Data and international scams. I warned her that was a hard story to tell. It is so big, and there is so much going on. But she kept at it, for months.

This week Newsy is posting the story: Big Mail. Here is the piece plus a bonus video.

I won’t get to watch it until Monday on Roku. But I can give you some greatest hits of the blog, and a photo of the letter I’m reading in the preview.

Please read the About page for the back story of this blog.

The most important page, really the hart of the blog, is the Are You Drowning in Junk Mail? page. That is where I tell you step by step how to stop a massive junk mail problem.

Big Data part 1: Who or What is Big Data? and Big Data part 2: How to Opt-out of Big Data. Here is where I talk about Big Data and how to stop it.

Wrap up stats and other thoughts. When I ended the blog I made a post with a lot of scary numbers and a walk down memory lane of all the crap I got in the mail.

And just for fun here is the post documenting the most difficult time I had stopping one companies junk mail.

If you liked the story from Newsy, I highly recommend CNN’s story about Maria Duval. And the book that expands on the story.

Now for some vintage junk mail:

This mailpiece from Carmen Dumas is from 2014. This is the first page of the 5 page letter. In the preview I’m reading the first paragraph.

Spoiler Alert: Her help isn’t free. She wants $50 or for an extra $5 she will rush ship your lucky numbers to you.

Carmen Dumas Clairvoyant scam

If you all want I can give this scam letter it’s own post. Let me know in the comments.

This blog is mostly dark now. I made a Facebook page for the blog where I post news stories that relate to this blog. Elder fraud, scams, Postal workers not delivering mail (where were they when I needed them?) and anything else that catches my fancy.

If you need help stopping junk mail you can email me darthjenni@gmail.com or Facebook chat at the DIJM Facebook page. And unlike Carmen my help really is free.

Anatomy of a Mailpiece: The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

When I was in the storm of stopping junk mail I didn’t have the time to slow down and really get in-depth with how the mailpieces are put together, how they are aimed at the elderly to get money from them.

Thankfully The Jesse Helms Center Foundation has ignored all the requests I have put out for them to stop sending mail to my house.

This includes:

Obviously I need to have another chat with my mail carrier, but in the mean time let’s take a long hard look at the fundraising mail The Jesse Helms Center Foundation is sending out to people.

Jesse Helms was the US Senator for North Carolina from 1973 to 2003. The Jesse Helms Center Foundation houses his papers and the museum is host various programs for students and guest speakers.

Mission Statement:
The Jesse Helms Center exists to promote traditional American values and the principles upon which our nation was founded and that Senator Jesse Helms advanced throughout his career. This is accomplished through education, public policy promotion,and historical preservation.The Jesse Helms Center Foundation’s programs are offered at little or no cost to the public. This is made possible by the support of foundations, individuals and corporations who recognize the value of the programs and the non-partisan commitment of the foundation.
How about this:

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

Stop the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans!
3,000,000,000 Patriot Survey to STOP the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans
Petition Demanding Your Senators REJECT This UN Tax
I am sure many of you are scratching your heads going What?! The UN is hurting for money so they wrote a proposal for various global taxes.  The boogie man in today’s junk mail are taxes that may or may not happen, that were proposed by the mostly toothless UN.

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

Please complete your personal, registered Patriot Survey to STOP the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans I’ve enclosed, right away! So I can pressure the U.S. Senate to REJECT the TAX!
Then sign the enclosed REJECT the Unconstitutional U.N. TAX Petitions demanding your two Senators to vote to STOP the greedy U.N. bureaucrats’ plan to impose hundreds of billions in taxes on American citizens– for the first time in history.
Then return your Survey and Petitions to me today so the Jesse Helms Center can expose and stop President Obama’s plan before he sneaks this treaty through the Senate.

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

ONE: Sign and return your REJECT the Unconstitutional U.N. TAX Petitions. I’ve sent you four Senate Petitions: One for each of your two Senators and one for each of the Senate’s majority leaders, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn. Your Petitions urge McConnell and Cornyn to REJECT the  U.N.’s tax on Americans.
TWO: Complete your enclosed Patriot Survey to STOP the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans and return it to me today. The Jesse Helms Center will send the results of the survey to key national news outlets, especially conservative talk radio, so they can expose this tax scheme and help us STOP the UN TAX.
THREE: Make a tax-deductible donation of $15, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 or more to the Jesse Helms Center to help fund our massive grassroots and media campaign to pressure ALL Senators – old and new! – to reject this U.N.’s tax scheme.

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

Did the font just get bigger?!

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

We are half way through and we need to stop and take a break. A few things I would like to point out:
The Printing: The font size is bigger than your average letter. It gets really big on page 3
The liberal use of ALL CAPS, Bold, Italic, and Underline.
The repetitive nature of the letter. They repeat the “3 part plan” on every page. Twice on page 4.

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

Here is the Patriot Survey to STOP the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans. I’m not going to type the questions out. You can read them  yourself.


The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

Can anyone tell me where to put my CREDIT CARD INFORMATION?

In the body of the letter they were asking for “$1000 or more”. But now the top dollar amount they are asking for is $500. You have to be consistent with this stuff people. You just cost yourself a $1000 donation.

I also find the “I can’t make a donation right now but here is $9 to deliver my petitions.” very interesting. Even though they can’t get a lot of money out of you today, you are still interacting with the mail. You are telling them that you may donate in the future, or to some other cause.  Is $9 the cost of processing one check these days? They might break even on processing this transaction, but by the time they sell you to other mailing lists the may get their money back. Maybe. But that is for a real reporter to look into.

The Jesse Helms Center Foundation

And finally the REJECT the Unconstitutional U.N. TAX Petitions that we have been hearing so much about.

If the people that process the checks for the The Jesse Helms Center Foundation, operate the same way as the ones who process the checks for psychic scams the “Patriot Survey to STOP the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans” and the “REJECT the Unconstitutional U.N. TAX Petitions” will be tossed in the trash once they get the credit card information off of it, or grab the check out of the envelope.

If all of this seems familiar or formulaic it is because The Jesse Helms Center Foundation uses American Target Advertising for their direct mail. I have written about American Target Advertising here and I also reviewed  America’s Right Turn by Richard A. Viguerie (the founder of American Target Advertising). While American Target Advertising is not listed in The Jesse Helms Center Foundation‘s IRS 990’s (you can find them on their Charity Navigator page.) American Target Advertising did fundraising for Mr. Helms when he was alive, and the mailing list for The Jesse Helms Center Foundation is listed on Viguerie Political Lists website.

I will pull out the best part of Mr. Viguerie’s book America’s Right Turn. He outlines how movement starts and why that movement would want to use “alternative media” to get their message out.

 Issues that motivate:

A perceived crisis

Threats to a way of life

Idealistic revulsion against corruption

Idealistic projections of a better life

Then you need:

A dedicated vanguard

Self-identification as a movement

Communication networks

Money to fund the revolution

Let’s see if this letter checks off all the boxes:
  • A perceived crisis: “Stop the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans!”
  • Threats to a way of life: The U.N. is going to tax us $4 billion.
  • Idealistic revulsion against corruption: “This new tax would make the U.N. less dependent on dues from donor nations. And that Would make the U.N. bureaucrats even more unaccountable, more arrogant and more powerful than they are now.”
  • Idealistic projections of a better life: ??? This letter doesn’t talk about what will happen once the bad guys are overthrown.
  • A dedicated vanguard: The Jesse Helms Center Foundation, “pro-sovereignty patriots like you”, 3 million Americans, Internet “warriors”
  • Self-identification as a movement: The Jesse Helms Center Foundation, pro-sovereignty patriots like you”
  • Communication networks:  “We will survey 3 million American patriots and share the results with media outlets.”
  • Money to fund the revolution: Make a tax-deductible donation of $15, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 or more

I almost had a junk mail BINGO, but they just had to be negative the whole letter.

A few more things you should look for in a mailpiece like this are:

  • How many pages is the pitch? (A milti-page pitch in a mailpiece will pull in more money than a one page pitch will. ) 4
  • Who are the good guys?:The Jesse Helms Center Foundation, pro-sovereignty patriots like you”.
  • Who are the bad guys?: The U.N. and Obama
  • Sense of urgency: “Please complete your personal, registered Patriot Survey to STOP the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans I’ve enclosed, right away! ” and “return your Survey and Petitions to me today
  • Interaction with the mail:  Fill out the “REJECT the Unconstitutional U.N. TAX Petitions” and the  “Patriot Survey to STOP the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans

The only goal of this mailpiece is to scare and upset a person so that they will send money to fight against whatever cause is in the letter. The combination of the size of the font, the liberal use of bolding important talking points, and repeating those talking points over and over, lead me to believe that this mailpiece is aimed at an elderly person.

The big question I have is Why? Why is this mailpiece coming from the The Jesse Helms Center Foundation and not The UN Sucks Foundation?  Do they have so little confidence in the mission of their foundation, that they have to go so wildly off topic to raise money? Is the cause of getting young people interested in government not good enough? Is digitizing a collection not a sexy enough topic to get people to pull out their checkbooks? If I lived in the town of Wingate, NC I would be a member just for the speakers they bring to town. Why are they spreading fear, when they could be spreading the positivity of what the foundation does every day.

Let’s return to Mr. Viguerie’s book America’s Right Turn for the answer:

Even in the environmental arena, where liberals have had so much success, Warwick sees nuances others might miss: “Certain issues strike a responsive cord with the public, and others don’t.  I mean, some of the worst problems we face in many communities in the country come from toxic spills and solid waste management. Yet it is virtually impossible to raise money around those issues-at least in ‘cold mail’ [prospect mail]. Whereas, if you want to save the rainforest, or cuddle pandas, it’s another story altogether.”

So the core mission of The Jesse Helms Center Foundation is the junk mail equivalent of a toxic spill, and “STOP the U.N. Tax THREAT to Americans” is like cuddling a panda Got it.

This space is normally where I tell everyone how to get off the mailing list of whom ever I’m talking about. Instead I’m going to ask for help. If you know who to call or email to get off the mailing list for the The Jesse Helms Center Foundation, comment or email me darthjenni@gmail.com.

I received another mailpiece from them in July. At that time I filed complaints with the California Attorney General and the DMA with no effect.

In the week since I received this mailpiece I have sent a webmail to the The Jesse Helms Center Foundation, emailed John Dodd johndodd@jessehelmscenter.org. I have sent a webmail to American Target Advertising, and I have also sent a webmail to Viguerie Political Lists, and left a message with Marty Anderson who does list management for them.

It shouldn’t be this hard to stop junk mail.

Hello readers from The Daily Beast!

To opt-out of junk mail from Citizens United: info@citizensunited.org

If that doesn’t work contact the direct marketing firm that makes their mail HSP Direct info@hspdirect.com. If that doesn’t work, contact the CEO Jamie Hogan hogan@hspdirect.com.
Also contact NOVA List and email Sunrise Data Services removes@sunrisedataservices.com
Also Contact InfoCision, Call them at (330) 668-1400 or email them at infocis@infocision.com.

A couple of days ago Betsy Woodruff from The Daily Beast contacted me about one of my favorite group of scumbags: Citizens United. It was quite an ordeal to stop junk mail from them a couple of years ago. Email and phone calls did nothing to stop junk mail from them. I had to contact their direct marking firm HSP Direct and their telemarketer InfoCision.

Edit: Part 2: Right-Wing Group Citizens United Again May Have Tried to Trick the Elderly Into Giving It Cash

The reason that reporters are interested in Citizens United right now, is that the head of Citizens United David Bossie is working for team Trump. No wonder Mr. Trump talks like a piece of junk mail come to life.

Citizens United does not care who wins or looses in November. All they care about is making sure the money doesn’t stop flowing to them. They will say anything to get a check out of you.

Do you care about our troops?
Citizens United
Citizens United has got you covered.

You you want to fill out a survey and tell people how angry you are about illegal immigrants committing voter fraud?
Citizens United for a Secure America
Citizens United has got you covered.

Are you worried that “In God We Trust” is going to be removed from US currency?
Citizens United
Not only has Citizens United has got you on this, they will send you a one dollar bill to remind you what it looks like.

And the mailpiece that Betsy really liked:

Woops! Could you resend that $50 check you sent us a while back?
Citizens United form 1500
The only problem was that we took her checkbook away in November 2013, and this came in June of 2014.

Betsy Woodruff wants to write more about political junk mail. If you are drowning in junk mail and want to tell your story and share the junk mail you get, contact Betsy by email woodruff.betsy@gmail.com or on the twitters @woodruffbets. She is looking for junk mail from David Bossie, Citizens United or anything else that exploits the elderly. You know the stuff I’m talking about: Social Security is going to be taken away, The Death Tax. That kind of nonsense.


How to Stop Junk Mail from the Major Party US Presidential Candidates 2016

Now that both conventions are over and we know who is running for president for the two major parties, it is time for our mailboxes to be flooded with junk mail.

Pile of junk mail

This is not the first step you should take to stop junk mail invading your house. Please follow my instructions for how to put a shield around your mailbox first, or contacting these people will do you no good. They buy and trade so many mailing lists, it is like playing whack-a-mole unless you put up a strong shield first.

Today, we will be stopping junk mail from the campaign that is asking for money. This will not stop those #@$#% postcards and fliers that you get during an election. The asking-for-money mailing list is different from the postcard list. The postcard list is based on the voter rolls. If you want to stop getting those, don’t register to vote. Don’t do that! Vote every election.

While I focus on real life, in-your-mailbox junk mail, you should know that they keep track of everything a supporter of a campaign does. How much money you donated, when you donated it, through what channel you gave it (postal mail, email, text). They also sell mailing lists back and forth. When a candidate drops out, one of the first things they do is sell their donor list to the other people running.

This is from the Privacy Policy of one of the PACs:

Third-party partners. We may share your information with organizations with similar political objectives and viewpoints for the purpose of advancing our own political objectives.”

That 3rd party? That is code for more junk mail.

Stopping Junk Mail:

If a candidate is sending you junk mail, call and email their office and tell them to stop. If you are ignored, put your request to be taken off a candidate’s mailing list on Twitter. Tweet at the campaign and the people running it. I found tweeting at them to be more effective than posting on the Facebook page for the campaign. But look closely at that piece of junk mail, is it directly from the candidate, or is it from their PAC? I will give you the contact information for both.

Stopping Emails and Phone Calls:

The best way to stop emails is to click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email and follow the instructions. Gmail and Outlook have unsubscribe built into the program. If that doesn’t work, start calling, emailing, and tweeting at them.

The phone calls are harder to stop. The Do Not Call list does not apply to campaign calls. If you get a real person on the line, tell them that unwanted phone calls and junk mail from political candidates is the most important issue in America today.

Stopping Recurring Donations on a Website:

This year donating to a campaign through the internet really took off. Bernie Sanders used ActBlue as his main fundraising platform. A part of internet fundraising sites is setting up a recurring donation. They make it very easy to start. But very difficult to stop. Mic media wrote instructions on how to stop recurring donations from both the Clinton and Trump websites.

What if none of that works?

If you contact a campaign and the junk mail doesn’t stop, take it to the next level. File a complaint with the DMA, the FTC, and your state’s attorney general.

My sources will be:

From the Sunlight Foundation:  Open Secrets and Influence Explorer because they are all about the money trail.

Ballotpedia and P2016 because they list the team that is running the campaign.

The root of all of this information is the FEC fillings by the candidates and their committees.

Let’s start off with the Democrats:

DNC junk mail

Hillary Clinton website 1

Hillary Clinton, official campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page. She is a former First Lady and a former Secretary of State.

To opt-out from official campaign: the contact page has a webmail form. Also call (646) 854-1432.  Twitter: @HillaryClinton.

Hillary for America’s  direct mail is by Mission Control, Inc (the only junk mail you’ll ever read… twice). Politico talking about Mission Control getting the direct mail contract.

Hillary Victory Fund is using  Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey for it’s direct mail program.

The biggest PAC supporting Team Clinton is Priorities USA Action. Influence Explorer page. To opt-out: send an email to EmailDigital1@prioritiesusaaction.org Twitter: @prioritiesUSA

Now for the Republicans:

National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee

Trump 1

Donald Trump, official campaign websiteBallotpedia page, Open Secrets page, P2016 page. He is a businessman from New York.

To opt-out: the contact page has a webmail form and call (646)736-1779. Twitter @realDonaldTrump.

Direct mail is by Left Hand Enterprises LLC. It is a front for Persuasion Partners.  Washington Post article that talks about Left Hand and the other direct mail firms that Team Trump is using. Including Wizbang Solutions.

Team Trump has 2 fundraising committees in partnership with the RNC:

Trump Make America Great Again Committee 310 First St SE Washington, D.C. 20003 or PO BOX 1776 Merrifield, Va 22116-9400  and Trump Victory fund. Fortune talking about the joint fundraising partnership.

From Politico:

“Party fundraisers have informed some Trump-weary donors that they can earmark their donations to Trump Victory and another joint committee called Trump Make America Great Again Committee in such a way that all the money will go to the RNC, and none to Trump, according to a finance operative who delivered such as solicitation and a donor who received such a solicitation.”

To opt-out of these 2 groups I would contact the National Republican Committee, to opt-out: send an email to eCampaign@GOP.com with “Unsubscribe” in the subject line. They are assuming you are opting-out of email, let them know it is for physical postal mail, and call (202) 863-8500. Twitter @GOP. Make sure you mention that Trump Make America Great Again Committee and the Trump Victory Fund are why you want off their mailing lists.

Even though he didn’t want them, there are a few PACs supporting team Trump:

The most active so far is Great America PAC, Influence Explorer page. New York Times article about Great America PAC. To opt-out: the contact page has a webmail form. Twitter: @GreatAmericaPAC

There are other pro-Trump PACs out there but they are having trouble raising funds. One pro-Cruz PAC has flipped and become pro-Trump.

Update August 29, 2016: There is a new scam PAC. American Horizons PAC run by Ian Hawes. Open Secrets page, Influence Explorer page. Politico story about American Horizons PAC and Ian Hawes.
He is fundraising through 2 websites, dinnerwithtrump.org, Facebook page Help Support Donald Trump. And crookedhillary2016.org, Facebook page CrookedHillary2016. Do not give money to American Horizons PAC. None of the money is going to help team Trump.

Did I miss something? Are you getting junk mail from different Trump or Clinton groups? Let me know in the comments.

Drowning in Junk Mail – Rules for the Stop Junk Mail Project

After I wrote the last post I realized that I had never told you guys what my rules were. I talk about them throughout the blog, but I never said what they were.

Junk Mail Rules

The Rules for the stop junk mail project:

Spend as little time as possible dealing with the mail.
I wrote a blog about the mail so I spent about 1,000% more time touching, photographing, researching the mail than a normal person should. If I hadn’t documented everything, I would have spent about 1-3 hours a week on the mail. Put all the mail in a box. Sort through it once a week, enter it into PaperKarma, then call and email the people who sent the most junk mail in a week.
This philosophy is what lead me to going after the fundraising companies and direct mail firms. If I could go above the piece of mail in my hand and stop another 5, or 10 charities who use the same direct mail firms, that would save me time.

Spend as little money as possible.
I only used postage to send Form 1500’s out. I bought all the supplies at the dollar store or Wal-Mart using the money that was sent to me in the junk mail.

When dealing with the people who work in the direct mail industry, treat them with respect. 
Call it social engineering. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Use whatever philosophy you need to get you through the interaction with them. You need their help. You need them to do what you want them to do. Coming at them from an angry place will get you nowhere. These people are at work and have a job to to. Do you like it when people come out of nowhere and start yelling at you at work? No. If someone is throwing a temper tantrum are you going to go out of your way to help them? No. Of corse I say all of that and I blew up at someone. Even I had a breaking point.
One thing I did learn is that instead of saying “I need to get my relative off your mailing list.” Say “I need to get off your mailing list.” It was a lot easier to get the person on the phone to help me if I became the person who’s mail I was trying to stop.

Keep emails as short, and on point as possible.
The emails I sent were very short:

Subject line: Remove from Mailing lists

Body of email:
Please remove
from your mailing lists.
Thank you,

No long story about your loved one. They don’t care. If they cared about the pain their junk mail causes, they would work to stop the out of control selling and trading of personal information in the direct mail industrial complex.

Keep track of when the mail should stop. Follow up when it doesn’t.
March Calendar
I used one of the calendars that came in the junk mail to keep track of when junk mail from each group should stop. Use whatever system works best for you. Following up is very important. They are counting on you forgetting about them in 8 weeks. If you get something on the 9th week call and email them that day. Don’t let them push you around. If you have to, email the CEO of whatever group you are trying to stop. Every mailpiece they send after it should have stopped is another email and another phone call, until the junk mail stops.

If the junk mail doesn’t stop, tattle on them to anyone who will listen.

I'm not going to be ignored, junk mail

I’m not going to be ignored, junk mail

They have promised that the junk mail will stop in 8 weeks, twice now. But after 16 weeks the junk mail hasn’t stopped. It is time to take it to the next level. If not for you then for the next person who has the same problem with the same people. If enough complaints are filed someone will take notice. File complaints with the DMA, and your state’s Attorney General.

While it won’t stop the junk mail you can also file complaints with the FTC and the  U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Many a criminal investigation was started with someone seeing a lot of complaints with the FTC or the USPS.

If you really want to make a stink go to the media. Reporters are always looking for a good story, and everyone hates junk mail.  Every local TV station and newspaper has a customer advocate “On your side” reporter.  Contact them and tell them what you are going through to stop junk mail, who won’t stop after all that hard work, and how it has affected your family. This story from ABC15 Arizona is a perfect example of the type of story I am talking about.

Are there any other rules for stopping junk mail I should have?

Drowning in Junk Mail – Wrap up stats and other thoughts

Hi there everyone. This blog is coming to an end. The junk mail has stopped for good. Some days my mailbox is empty. I thought I would give the blog some closure, and take a peak into the box of junk I have been holding on to for a year.

The average American household receives 848 pieces of junk mail per year.
From April 2014 to December 2014, 8 months she received about 1,786 mailpieces.
From January 2015 to September 2015, 9 months she received about 155 mailpieces. Her peak week was 154 mailpieces.

Money spent about $220. Some it was bankrolled by money found in the junk mail.

Postage and stamps – $150 This is so high because of all the larger mailpieces that got a Form 1500, and all the jerks that had to go to step 2.
Envelopes $8 all bought at the Dollar store.
Fake Money and Real Glitter
Glitter $6
Princess money $1
Permanent markers – $2 for 2 packages of permanent markers from the Dollar Store.
Paper $4 (I think it was on sale) the cheapest ream of paper from Wal-Mart.
Toner – $25 It takes me about a year to go through a cartridge. Even printing on the lightest setting, was no match for the 100+ Form 1500’s I printed out.
Avery Mailing Labels – $23

A lot of that was optional. You don’t need Avery mailing labels or glitter.

I think a lot of people have been waiting for this. The big box of all the crap that I have gotten over the past year.

Over 100 form 1500’s. This does not include all the mistakes I made. And there were a lot of mistakes. I tossed in the DMA complaints that I had a paper copy of into the photo.

Happy photos of happy politicians.

Greeting Cards. I can to open a Hallmark store now.

Membership cards. What would you like to be a card carrying member of? I have plenty of choices.

Note pads. This is not all of them. I used 3 of them for taking notes about the blog.

Post cards. Because you never know when you will need a post card from Jesse Helms.

National Association of Blind Veterans a project of National Federation of the Blind
This cheap travel clock from National Association of Blind Veterans is a favorite of mine. Mostly because it has a cover over the clock face, rendering it useless for a blind person. The face is just a piece of paper. I sent this off to Melanie Hicken a CNN reporter along with a pile of junk mail. I like to imagine that in the middle of the big fancy NY CNN office there is a reporter with this cheap clock on her desk.

Bookmarks and prayer cards. Note that I wrote my own prayer on one of them.

A couple of DVD’s. One of them with the Fox News all-stars on the cover.

Calendars. How nice you have a different photo for each month. I have a different calendar for each month!

Window clings. Why yes I do support one of the worst charities in America.

Fake checks. Whatever you do don’t cash these. It gives the “charity” access to your bank account.

Of course the crap from St. Joseph’s gets a photo all it’s own

Mountain States Legal Foundation
By far the strangest swag I received was a bag of dirt. Sadly I don’t know where they are right now. They were lost in the piles of junk mail.

return mailing labels
And the granddaddy of them all. Over 1,600 return mailing labels. Keep in mind I used hundreds of them, and didn’t make a dent in the pile.

The blog maybe slowing down, but if you still want stories about junk mail, the elderly, scams, scam PACs, scam charities, and anything else that catches my fancy you can follow the Facebook page I set up for the blog.

One last thought: I do not make money from this blog. The ads you see are not from me. WordPress has to cover it’s costs some how.  Ethically I can not monetize this blog. Can you imagine the ads that Google ads would put on this blog with all the political, and charity links I have put on it?

How to Stop Mail for a Deceased Person

AARP has a great check list of things to do when someone dies. I am going to expand on the section about what to do with a deceased person’s mail.

With in days of the person’s death put a stop on the mail with the post office. Piles of mail on the porch will bring unwanted attention to the house if no one is there.

After the funeral, put in a change of address to the Post Office to redirect the mail to the executor of the estate.

To stop junk mail:

Use the deceased persons original address for this step. It will take a while for the junk mail to catch up to the change of address.

Fill out the DMA’s Deceased Do Not Contact Registration form.

acxiom is a huge data broker. Their opt-out page has a box you can check if you are opting-out a deceased person opt-out here.

Epsilon.com AKA Abacus is another huge data broker. They have a whole page about opting-out from them, but if you only want to opt-out a deceased person call them at (888) 780-3869 with the full name, address and date of death of the deceased, and they will remove the individual from their databases.

None of them will ask you for paperwork of any kind.

It is going to take 3 months for all that to take effect.

In the mean time open all the mail and look for pre-paid envelopes and send it back with note saying that the person is deceased.

Competitive Enterprise Institute

This is what I did. You do not have to be as blunt as I was.

If you have a smartphone you can use the Paperkarma app. You can add the deceased person’s name along with everyone else that receives mail at your address. Or you can make a separate account for the deceased person with both their original address and the new address.

You can also write “Deceased” on the outer envelope of all un-opened junk mail. Then give it back to your postal worker.

Change Of Address Packages

After the estate is settled and is dissolved, and you are no longer receiving important legal mail for the estate, get 2 change of address packages from your post office. One is going to be for the deceased person’s original mailing address and the other is for the address the mail was changed to after they died.

Fill it out like normal but under “New Mailing Address” put Deceased.

Change Of Address form Deceased

DO NOT MAIL THIS IN! You are going to hand it into the local post office branch for each address. When you hand it in, have a copy of the proof that you have Power of Attorney, or are the Executor of the Estate, and a copy of the Death Certificate. This should stop all mail immediately.

I hope this quick guide makes this small part of dealing with the death of a loved one, a little easier to navigate.

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Month in Junk Mail – September, 8 pieces

All 8 pieces

This is it. Put a fork in me, I’m done. After doing this for a year an a half I am stopping this project.

Woo Hoo!!

Her estate is settled, and she is only getting junk mail now. But just because my junk mail stopping project is done, doesn’t mean I am done with junk mail for good. I have a few more junk mail stopping tips to write about. I also have a wrap-up post to do (come on don’t you want to know how many calendars I got over the past year?). I am also taking everything I learned, and everything that I think needs to be changed and putting it into a letter and sending it to the Senate Special Committee on Aging and anyone else I can think of. The biggest of all is I am helping a couple of CNN reporters research the junk mail industrial complex. If you want to talk about your battle with junk mail with a reporter contact Melanie Hicken melanie.hicken@turner.com. They just wrapped up a report on the BBB if you want to see the kind of work they do.

All 8 pieces

Here are the 8 pieces she received in September. Last September she received about 150 pieces of junk mail.

House junk mail

These 3 are all about her house. One is from a Farmers Insurance agent in her city to renew her policy. The other 2 are from Homeowner Rights Law Group (800) 969-4754, dealing with the fallout of her reverse mortgage.

Charter cable junk mail

Not even death can stop junk mail from the local cable company.

Care More

This is from Care More.  They are “One of America’s leading architects of integrated medical care to the elderly.” Whatever that means.


National Anti-Vivisection SocietyWiki page, Charity Navigator page, opt-out here navs@navs.org and call (800) 888-NAVS. Some of you may not know what a vivisection is. It is a the dissection of an animal while it is still alive. BTW that link on the the word vivisection is not for the weak of stomach.


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. To opt-out: call (877) NAACP98 that is (877) 622-2798, or the national office (410) 580-5615, or the membership hotline (866) 636-2227.

Sweepstakes Clearinghouse

Sweepstakes Clearinghouse 2000 E Lamar Blvd Ste 600 Arlington TX 76006

You win Sweepstakes Clearinghouse. Only telling the post office she is dead, and stopping all of her mail will stop you.

One Pre-paid envelope ready to go

One last bit of revenge on Sweepstakes Clearinghouse. I hope you guys like glitter.

Drowning in Junk Mail – This Month in Junk Mail – July

The Daily mail is continuing  it’s Godzilla like rampage all over big charity in the UK. They took one man’s massive pile of junk mail and traced it all back to him not checking one box:

The Daily Mail's chart of where Mr. Rae's information was sold

The Daily Mail’s chart of where Mr. Rae’s information was sold

Mr Rae’s son Chris summed it up the best:

“The way charities have treated him is absolutely disgraceful … If what they have done to my father is legal, then the law needs to change.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Now back to my own junk mail nightmare.

All 7 pieces

In the month of July she got 7 pieces. Last July she got about 220 pieces of junk mail.

Citizen Guardian

Citizen Guardian (202) 469-3433, (540) 630-6400 and email info@CitizenGuardian.org Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page. Contact Engage Direct Mail at  info@uscomplianceservices.com to opt-out.

I have a feeling that after what I did last month, this will truly be one of the last mailpieces I will get from them.

Second Amendment Foundation and Neptune Society

This mailpiece is very interesting. On the outside it is for Second Amendment Foundation (Wiki page, run by Alan Gottlieb. SourceWatch page for Mr. Gottlieb. Great article about Alan GottliebCharity Navigator page. Opt-out here: Call (425) 454-7012 or email info@saf.org. It will take 90 days to be dropped from their mailing list.) But on the inside it is an ad for the Neptune Society.  How much is the Neptune Society paying the Second Amendment Foundation for an ad in a Second Amendment Foundation mailpiece?


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Wiki page, Charity Navigator page. To opt-out: call (877) NAACP98 that is (877) 622-2798, or the national office (410) 580-5615, or the membership hotline (866) 636-2227. Mail from them should stop next month.

Real estate postcards

These 3 are all about her house and the fall out of the reverse mortgage.

Pro Wave Model 101

Nature’s Wave, Pro Wave Energy System, Rife Model 101 Frequency Generator PO Box 490300 Leesburg FL 34749-0300. Dead website, no phone pick up, no reply to email. This maybe zombie junk mail. BBB page F rating. Here is another company that sells the same thing. Royal Rife wiki page, QuackWatch page. I have already filed a Form 1500 about these guys.  But if they are a zombie company there may be no way to stop them.

one pre-paid envelope

Only one Pre-paid envelope to send out this month.




Drowning in Junk Mail – My Battle to Stop Junk Mail from Citizen Guardian and Engage Direct Mail

In July, I broke some of my rules. I was rude to people on the phone, and I was snappy at people in email. That it took me a year to snap at someone is a miracle. Let me lay out my case for completely losing my mind at these people.

Last year she was getting junk mail from:

The Seniors Center a project of Checks & Balances for Economic Growth

The Seniors Center a project of Checks & Balances for Economic Growth, (202)785-9500Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.  They have been in trouble with the FEC in the past.

National Sovereignty Center, Program of the Citizens Assembly

The Citizen’s Assembly, Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

American Seniors Against Obama Care a program of Citizen Guardian

Citizen Guardian (202) 469-3433, (540) 630-6400 and email info@CitizenGuardian.org Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

The Council of Seniors a program of Volunteer Americans

Volunteer Americans, Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

Secure America Alliance a program of United States Public Policy Council

U.S. Public Policy Council changes@PublicPolicyCouncil.org Citizen Audit page, Charity Navigator page.

American Service Council office@americanservicecouncil.com , Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

and Civic Council, Citizen Audit page, Open Secrets page, Charity Navigator page.

All these groups have one thing in common, they all use Engage Direct Mail for their direct mail fundraising campaigns. I have already written about them, and Gary Jarmin. I contacted their compliance office info@uscomplianceservices.com in July 2014.

Letter from the Engage Direct Mail Compliance Office 7/23/2014

They sent a letter saying that it will take 12 weeks to be cycled out of their system.

Dear [name]

I am writing as a follow up to your request on July 22, 2014, requesting that your name and address be removed from out clients’ mailling lists. In response to your request we have been instructed by each of our clients American Service Council, Checks & Balances for Economic Growth, Civic Council, Citizen Guardian, U.S. Public Policy Council, Volunteer Americans, The Citizen’s Assembly to add your name and address to their do not mail lists.

Please be advised that we have received confirmation from out data department, that your name and address has been removed from the mailing list of all out clients as of 07/23/2014.

I must emphasize that direct mail solicitations are produced at a minimum of twelve (12) weeks in advance of their mail date. As such, letters in production prior to the date of this stop mail request could include material addressed to your name and address and could already be in the mail stream. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in resolving this matter.

If you require any additional documentation, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at (310) 606-9250 or email me at info@uscomplianceservices.com.

That was July 23, 2014. That means that junk mail from all those groups will stop in mid October 2014. Fine.

The junk mail didn’t stop.

Secure America Alliance a program of United States Public Policy Council

This mailpiece is from Secure America Alliance a program of United States Public Policy Council arrived on December 18, 2014. 2 months after mail from Engage Direct Mail should have stopped.

So I circled back to Engage Direct Mail. Now junk mail from them should stop in March 2015. ( I think I filed a DMA complaint about Citizen Guardian around this time. My notes about the DMA complaints are incomplete.)


American Seniors Against ObamaCare a program of Citizen Guardian

This mailpiece from American Seniors Against ObamaCare a program of Citizen Guardian arrived on April 2, 2015. A month after mail from Engage Direct Mail should have stopped the second time.

She died in February. Now it is on. I registered her with everyone I could think of to tell them she was dead, and to stop sending her junk mail. But Engage Direct Mail just kept rolling along.

I contacted Engage Direct Mail in May. I was told that she was removed from the database March 27, 2015. Why wasn’t she removed in July 2014? Whatever. Another 12 weeks it is. That brings us to June 2015 for the new stop date.

Citizen Guardian

In June I got a mailpiece from Citizen Guardian on June 9, 2015. You can see my note on the envelope that it should be the last one.

Well this is what arrived in July:

3 from Citizen Guardian

What the hell??

That is when I unleashed my full middle-aged, white privileged, entitled self. This woman became my spirit animal:

For each of these mailpieces I left a screaming message for Citizen Guardian on both of their phone numbers (202) 469-3433 and (540) 630-6400. I knew it would do no good. But it felt good.

After the first mailpiece I filed a complaint with the California Attorney General. I mentioned things like that she was dead, that I had been trying to stop junk mail from them for a year, and that their mail was offensive and harassment.

Letter from the State of California Department of Justice 7/6/2015

Dear Jennifer Bell,

Thank you for bringing your consumer complaint to the attention of the Office of the Attorney General. Often, it is only through letters from concerned and responsible citizens, like you, that out office becomes aware of consumer problems.

You Should be aware that California state laws do not allow us to represent private individuals in person cilil matters. However, in cases of statewide significance, we can bring legal action against a company when substantive evidence is presented to us supporting allegations that a firm has violated California law.

We have forwarded a copy of your letter along with an inquiry from our office to the company you are concerned about. Hopefully, this will elicit from them a response which we will all find satisfactory.

Again, thank you for contacting out office and giving us the opportunity to assist in this matter.

Lupe Zinzun
Public inquiry Unit

for Kamala D. Harris
Attorney General

This was the response I from Engage Direct Mail. I didn’t get this until after the 3rd mailpiece.

Letter from the State of California Department of Justice 7/23/2015

Blah Blah. Copypasta 12 weeks. Blah blah removed from data base on 7/15/2015. Blah blah.

After the 3rd mailpiece I emailed the compliance office again:

It has been more that 12 weeks and [name] is still getting junk mail from Citizen Guardian. She has received 3 so far this month. I cannot emphasize enough 1. How dead she is and 2. How upsetting it is for her family to see mail addressed to her. I have given your company more than enough lead time. This is now harassment. From here on out I am going to send you an email every time I get a piece of junk mail from Citizen Guardian.

Please remove [name and address] From your mailing lists. She is dead. She died penniless because she gave all her money away to people like you. Please stop sending her junk mail.

And here is the reply

I personally took care of your request to remove your [relationship] name and number from our data base on 7/21/2015.

Please note, that direct mail solicitations are produced at a minimum of twelve (12) weeks in advance of their mail date.  As such, letters in production prior to the date of this stop mail request could include material addressed to your grandmother’s name and address and could already be in the mail stream. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

HER NAME WAS STILL IN THE DATABASE?!?!?! What the hell is going on in that office? Are they purposefully malicious or just incompetent?

On their website, Engage Direct Mail they claims to have the “cleanest” mailing lists with the best leads:

Cleaner Data in: From the first mailing, we’ll clean your data like never before. First we’ll use the standard tools like NCOA, LACs, and DPV. Then, we’ll bring out the big guns. Our proprietary ECOA process culls out undeliverable addresses, phony names, and those records our 11 years of testing tells us just won’t work. Then our system corrects and adds titles, appends apartment numbers, corrects misspellings, and applies vanity addresses (if your donor says he lives in Beverly Hills, do you really want to address his mail to Los Angeles?). From your first mailing we can increase your response even more with our proprietary Response Maximizer which will grade your file based on our 10 Characteristics of Responsive Households and remove the households least likely to respond.

There is a lot going on in that paragraph. I’m going to pull out a couple of my favorite phrases.

“Remove the households least likely to respond.” I would think a dead person trying to get off their mailing list for over a year would be “least likely to respond.”

Is one of the “Characteristics of Responsive Households” family members who are trying to stop your client’s junk mail? If so, I am in the prime demographic.

As far as I can tell the database for Engage Direct Mail is filled with either dead people, or older people with dementia that can’t afford to give money to their fake PACs.

The clock has started again. Now it is scheduled to stop mid October 2015, a year after it should have stopped the first time. 😡

Through this whole project I have tried to keep my cool during my contact with any of these blood sucking monsters. But even I have my limits. It is sad when I have to turn the bitch level up to 11 to get something done.

If you are getting junk mail from these people, my plan of attack would be:

  1. Email info@uscomplianceservices.com and request to be removed from their mailing list.
  2. Wait twelve (12) weeks for it to stop.
  3. When the junk mail doesn’t stop, file a complaint with the DMA and your state’s Attorney General.

Do not let it drag on for a year like I did. At the first sign of non-compliance, hit them with the big guns. Leave a paper trail of complaints, for yourself and others. They need to learn that they can’t ignore people’s requests to be taken off their mailing lists.

Blog post from 2006 from a person who went through the same thing I did.

To connect the dots between these scams, you have to google Gary Jarmin. Don’t be surprised if you get so many diverse hits that you think you’ve found a whole group of different people. In fact, he’s (a) a former moonie; (c)legislative director of Christian Voice; (c)national field director of the American Coalition for Tradition Values; (d) head of the American Federation of Senior Citizens, E) Freedom, USA; (f) American Intelligence Council…