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Contact 7: How to get off the "suckers list" and cut down on junk mail

Scammers use lists to target vulnerable population
Posted: 7:29 AM, Aug 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-08 13:29:27Z

Nobody likes to think of themselves as a "sucker" who will fall for anything. But a CNN investigation found unscrupulous data brokers are selling information to scammers, who then target people more likely to succumb to mail fraud or another scheme.

Those people may be on a "suckers list," a registry of people who have been successfully solicited in the past. You could end up on this list if you have done something innocent like donate to a charity, or buy something from a mail order catalog.

To keep yourself off a "suckers list," you should start by finding out if a charity you donate to sells your information to any third parties.

That first step is simple, but the rest may take more leg work.

The World Privacy Forum maintains a list of data brokers and links to opt out directly . Unfortunately, not all data brokers allow you to opt out.

The Data and Marketing Association also allows you to remove your name from mailing lists. It costs $2 to sign up for the service.

These tools should make you less of a target for scammers, and can help cut down on the junk mail you receive.

You should report outright scams to the FTC or the Colorado Attorney General's Office .