Protect Yourself and Report the Latest Frauds, Scams, Spams, Fakes, Identify Theft Hacks and Hoaxes
Do you receive calls from a fax machine? Does you fax machine spew out junk advertising?
These are typically calls from telemarketers autofax programs. Autofax dialers can produce, store, and dial telephone numbers using a random or sequential number generator. Often, they dial every number in a sequence, hoping that some are valid and they will connect to a fax machine.
Autofax programs typically send through a scam about stock market tips. Once they do connect, they add the fax number to their list of valid fax machines for future pitches. You've probably seen the stack of sleazy fax advertisements by your company fax machine.
To understand the revised rules, you must first understand the meaning of the terms "unsolicited advertisement" and "established business relationship."
As defined in FCC rules, an "unsolicited advertisement" is "any material advertising the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services which is transmitted to any person without that person's prior express invitation or permission, in writing or otherwise."
Also as defined in FCC rules, an "established business relationship" or EBR is "a prior or existing relationship formed by a voluntary two-way communication between a person or entity and a business or residential subscriber with or without an exchange of consideration [payment], on the basis of an inquiry, application, purchase or transaction by the business or residential subscriber regarding products or services offered by such person or entity, which relationship has not been previously terminated by either party."
The FCC rules prohibit unsolicited fax advertisements (under most circumstances). In general, to stop unwanted fax advertisements, you must make an "opt-out" request which must:
If you change your mind about receiving fax advertisements, you can subsequently grant express permission to receive faxes from a particular sender, orally or in writing.
This won't necessarily stop the faxes - especially if they are scammers deliberately violating the law, but it does give you the right to sue them. So, if that didn't work, what's next?
|Remove-me number||If the removal Recording starts with something like this ...||Broadcaster|
|800-305-6892||"thank you for calling the fax removal hotline. Enter the 10 digit telephone you wished to have removed. Press the # key when finished."Protus.MP3||Protus IP Solutions|
|888 217 8253||"You have reached the fax number removal line. Starting with the area code, please dial your 10 digit fax number"||Protus IP Solutions|
|866-834-1757||"Please enter the 10 digit fax number you wish to have removed from our list followed by the # sign"||Concord Technologies|
|877-360-0715||"Please listen carefully and select from one of the following..."||To be identified|
|800-405-5537||"Hello. If we have sent you a fax in error, please press 1 to remove your number..."||CF Services, LLC*|
|888-531-0963||"To be removed from our list, please enter your 3 digit area code and 7 digit fax number. Please do not enter a 1 before the area code."||Ellipsis, Inc.|
|877-212-5608||"to be removed from our list, please enter your 3 digit area code and 7 digit fax number. please do not enter a 1 before the area code."||To be identified|
|at least 3 variations: "welcome to the fax
removal system. To remove your fax number, please enter your 10 digit
fax number including the area code." alternates with "you have reached
the fax removal number. if you no longer wish to receive our faxes,
...." and "welcome to the toll free fax number removal service. to have
your fax number removed, ..."
(note: they dial numbers from the fax.com database)
Headers are modified each time to make them look different and they use multiple removal recordings, changing the voices frequently.
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|see DigitalSpeed Communications|
The FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies violating or suspected of violating the junk fax rules, but does not award individual damages. If you have received a fax advertisement from someone who does not have an EBR with you or to whom you have not provided prior express permission to send fax advertisements, you can file a complaint with the FCC:
What to Include in Your Complaint
The best way to provide all the information needed for the FCC to process your junk fax complaint is to complete fully the on-line complaint Form 1088. The opening pages of the Form 1088 will direct you to the Form 1088A, which asks specific questions relevant to junk faxes. If you do not use the on-line complaint Form 1088, your complaint, at a minimum, should indicate:
You may also submit a copy of the fax with your complaint, either electronically or by fax or mail using the Consumer Center contact information above.
You can file TCPA-related complaints with your state authorities, including your local or state consumer protection office or your state Attorney General's office. Contact information for these organizations should be in the blue pages or government section of your local telephone directory.
You can also bring a private suit against the violator in an appropriate court of your state. Through a private suit, you can either recover the actual monetary loss that resulted from the TCPA violation, or receive up to $500 in damages for each violation, whichever is greater. The court may triple the damages for each violation if it finds that the defendant willingly or knowingly committed the violation. Filing a complaint with the FCC does not prevent you from also bringing a suit in state court.