How to Stop Unwanted Faxes

If you own a fax machine or if you have access to a fax machine, you've probably received a few spam faxes every once in a while. Perhaps your fax machine receives an unbearable amount of junk advertisements. This occurs because telemarketers use autofax programs that dial many different combinations of numbers until a valid number is found, and once a valid number is found, that number is added to a list of valid fax numbers. Learning how to stop unwanted faxes is as simple as knowing the available methods for blocking calls and discouraging spammers from calling you again.


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    Call the sender and opt out from their list. In the United States, the 2005 Junk Fax Prevention Act requires all fax marketers to provide a way for receivers to opt out of future faxes. Usually they will provide an opt-out telephone number, but sometimes they will provide a fax number, a website or an email address.
    • In some cases, calling an opt-out number will not work. This typically occurs when the fax marketers are deliberately breaking or ignoring the law.
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    Check if your fax machine has a feature that can block certain numbers. Consult your fax machine's user manual and search for a way to block incoming numbers.
    • Look around on the fax to see if the sender included his sending fax number. If the sending number is not included on the fax, then you can use the *57 method to trace unwanted calls. However, you will first need to set up the *57 service with your service provider and there will be limitations on tracing the number, such as only tracing numbers in your local service area.
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    Request your phone company to block unidentified fax numbers. Most phone companies will have a Privacy Director service for fax lines. Call your phone company and ask to use this service which will block all unidentified numbers.
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    File a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In the world of fax, there doesn't exist such a thing as a master "Do Not Fax" list. If someone sends you fax advertisements and if you never gave them express permission to send advertisements, you can file a complaint with the FCC. In turn, the FCC will fine them for violating junk fax laws.
    • You can send complaints to the FCC by phone call, by email, by fax, by written letter, or by using the FCC online complaint form.
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    Consider using fax-to-email software. Fax-to-email software automatically converts all received faxes into emails that are forwarded to your email address. By using such software, you can delete junk faxes and only print out the faxes that are important. If your main concern with junk fax is the waste of paper and ink, this can be a great solution.
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    Discourage the senders from sending more faxes by annoying them. One common method of discouraging fax spammers is to fax a few sheets of black construction paper to the fax number that spammed you. This will quickly use a lot of their toner, forcing their machine to shut down until the toner is replaced.
    • Unfortunately, this method will have no effect if the fax spammer is using fax-to-email software. If they are, they will simply see black emails in their inbox.
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    Turn off your fax machine. As a last resort, a temporary solution to the issue of junk fax is to simply turn off your fax machine when you aren't expecting any faxes.

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Categories: Computers and Electronics