- If you've ever paid for something at a store with a Square credit card reader, you've probably gotten follow-up emails from that store to your personal email address.
- In New York City, Square readers are extremely common — which has resulted in my inbox getting flooded with spam email from businesses big and small.
- There's an easy, quick way to stop all those emails from coming. Here's how!
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Last week, my wife and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary.
On the way home from work, I stopped at a local flower shop to get her flowers. As they wrapped my flowers, I paid with a credit card using the shop's Square card reader.
Four days later, I got this email from the flower shop:
I hadn't given the flower shop my email — I was in and out in less than five minutes.
How in the world did Mrs. Blooms at Fulton Center get my email address and send me this spam? Through Square, it turns out.
"Only a Square Seller that you have directly provided your email address to has access to that personal information. Often this occurs the first time you enter your email address to receive a receipt," Square's FAQ says. In the case of these flowers, I hadn't given my email address for the receipt. But since I gave my email for a receipt at some Square-using store in the past, Square used it to send me marketing from subsequent retail outlets.
"You may receive marketing email (facilitated by Square) from other Square Sellers you have shopped at," the FAQ says. "Square doesn't share your contact information with sellers who you have not directly given it to. If you're receiving a marketing email via Square from a seller who you didn't provide your email to, they do not have access to view your email address and can only market to you via Square Marketing."
So: Because I entered my email address to receive a receipt once, Square kept my email on file and used it to send me spam from other retailers. Great!
Mrs. Blooms was just the latest local retailer that uses Square for its point-of-sale to send me spam, and they didn't even need my email address.
Blue Bottle, where I sometimes buy fancy coffee, has also started sending me spam emails. I went to Rhode Island for a wedding a few weeks ago, and I bought coffee one morning at a shop in Providence — they've also started sending me emails.
And all these emails originate from the same sender: "[email protected]"
Thankfully, there's a really easy way to stop these emails altogether.
The next time you get one, or if you still have one in your inbox, scroll to the bottom and look for this link:
Once you click through, Square has a very simple toggle that allows you to easily opt out — for some bizarre reason, it's automatically set to "Receive emails from the merchants I frequent."
When you click through, you'll see this:
All you need to do from there is to select "I do not want to receive emails from any merchants," and you should be all set.
You could, of course, add the "[email protected]" email address to your spam filter if you want to be all the way through. By all means, you do you, but I've yet to receive a single email since toggling the option to stop receiving all emails.