Unwanted Mail/Identity Theft

Unwanted Mail/Identity Theft

Catalogs, credit-card offers, newspaper inserts, glossy postcards and other advertisements overwhelm the mailbox. One study reports that we receive more than 40 pounds of unwanted mail each year. Most unwanted mail can be recycled - including envelopes with windows.

But you need to be careful. Credit-card applications and other unwanted mail containing any personal information should be shredded. Most local recycling programs do not accept shredded paper so you will have to dispose of it - unless your program offers single-day shredding events. To see what your program offers, visit www.scdhec.gov/recyclehereSC.

The most important thing you can do is control your exposure. By not receiving unwanted mail you secure personal information while reducing the amount of waste created.

Here is who to contact to reduce the amount of unwanted mail you get at home:

For everything else, send an email or search the company's web site for opt-out options.

The Federal Trade Commission offers information on stopping unwanted mail, unsolicited phone calls and email. Visit here to learn more.