So, here we are, the first post of 2008. After a strenuous first day back at work I arrived home to find two letters for me. Not unusual, I get post but usually it’s either a) bills or b) junk mail. Sometimes birthday cards, but typically only in January.

Since we moved in October 2006 we certainly get less casual delivered-on-foot junk mail. Where we used to live there was a high concentration of houses meaning that all manner of junk mail-delivery offenders could offload a huge volume of their wares in a short time… and hence we used to get a lot, sometimes up to ten pizza delivery leaflets a week. The day when I opened the door, screwed up a leaflet from an estate agent and threw it back at his head now seems distant.

The road we now live in is a bit of a hike for on-foot junk mail-delivery, nowhere near as many houses and wouldn’t be attempted after dark (not because of me jumping out of a bush at them – although that’s a thought – it’s just a very dark road). Hence we rarely get any leaflets through the door, which I count as a huge bonus. However…

The amount of junk mail delivered in addressed envelopes seems to be on the increase. Now, what are we constantly warned against (apart from eating too much saturated fat, binge drinking and driving while shaving or eating a bowl of cereal)? Answer: identity fraud. Who warns us against identity fraud? Answer: financial institutions, banks and credit card providers. Who sends the most junk mail which carries the risk of exposing our name and address details to potential fraudsters? Answer: financial institutions, banks and credit card providers.

Here’s my tip… when you receive junk mail from anyone and it includes a reply-paid envelope, send it back to them. It costs them money to process your incoming envelope. You can send their crap back to them and include a note saying “take me off your mailing list” or just send them back something else you don’t want. After all, they sent you some rubbish, so just return the favour.

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