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So we got an interesting piece of mail over the weekend. An offer from American express for someone who doesn't live at our address. The kicker on this: it's the woman who owned the house before the people we bought the house from. They lived here for 10 years, we've now been here for 12. I just wrote "return to sender not at this address" on it and dropped it back in the mail, but now I'm wondering, should I contact Amex more directly about this? Could someone be trying to use this woman's identity to open a new account? Why would Amex be sending offers to someone at an address that hasn't been current for more than 20 years?

LWW
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Sounds like AMEX bought an old mailing list.

Jean
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just send it back & don't worry. They probably don't purge their records often or at all.

I recently had a huge spate of wrong mail - important stuff like tax docs, social security and welfare docs, etc. I got so freaked out I finally went to the police. I just kept "returning to sender" and eventually it stopped. I think the thing that finally cut it off - aside from rejecting the USPS change of address forms - was that for one particular piece of mail, I hand-returned it to a county agency with a note explaining there was no one here by that name and never had been, and if they had ANY way of contacting this woman they should tell her all her mail was getting mis-directed.

But mass-marketing junk mail...don't bother. It's just outdated info. I get stuff still once in a great while for the person two owners ago (20 years).
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I keep getting non-property tax notices for my seller who hasn't lived here in over 15 years. I stick it in an envelope with a letter explaining that no one by that name has lived here since I bought the place and there is no forwarding address. Of course, I keep a copy of each letter as well.

Fuskie
Who lives with the perpetual help that one day they will actually update their records...
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There are two types of credit card advertising offers. The one you received is likely mass marketing that uses generic mailing lists that can be significantly out of date. They are very difficult to stop. The more targeted pre-approved offers can be stopped for five years.
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Fuskie: FYI it is illegal to open mail. I kept a copy of mine too, but only envelopes and didn't open any.
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Fuskie: FYI it is illegal to open mail. I kept a copy of mine too, but only envelopes and didn't open any.

?? I guess I misread what Fuskie was trying to say? I thought he was saying that he put the envelopes regarding the taxes into another envelope and mailed that to the tax people with a letter explaining that the person didn't live there. He then kept a copy of the letter that he sent to the tax office.

I didn't see anything to indicate that he opened the original envelopes.

BTW: it's illegal to open other people's mail, not mail in general :0)

LWW
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oh yeah...duh! I do in fact open my own mail.

No, what threw me is that he said he made copies.
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No, what threw me is that he said he made copies.

Okay. I took that to mean that he took copies of the letters of explanation that he sent with the envelopes. Sort of as a protection for later when he can say "I sent you X number of letters about this subject. The first one in 1999, followed by letters in 2000, 2001, and 2010. Not sure what happened between 2002 and 2009, I thought that you had gotten your act together."

LWW
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No, what threw me is that he said he made copies.

Copies of the letters I wrote, not of the ones they sent.

Fuskie
Who notes it is not illegal to inadvertently open mail for someone else if, for example, you are opening a bunch of envelopes without looking at the addressees, provided you make an attempt to return it to the sender or to the postal service...
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Who notes it is not illegal to inadvertently open mail for someone else if, for example, you are opening a bunch of envelopes without looking at the addressees, provided you make an attempt to return it to the sender or to the postal service...

Well, I haven't been arrested for it yet. The houses in our neighborhood have repeating addresses and similar street names, so on days when we have a substitute mailman, we get mail for the lady one street over. I opened a piece of mail one day, could not figure out why I was receiving a card for a store I never shopped at, then realized that it was addressed to our neighbor at 65th STREET, not Place.

We also with sub mailmen get her mail when it is improperly addressed to our address, but with her name. Our regular mailman knows everyone in the neighborhood, and usually catches the sorting errors.
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