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Stopping Unwanted Faxes


Q. I am registered on the Do Not Call list but have been getting a lot of annoying faxes. How do I stop them?

A. Unfortunately, the Do Not Call list only prevents unwanted telemarketing phone calls—not faxes. But like the federal phone call registry, faxes can be sent by those with whom you have had an established business relationship; they must, however, provide information on how to opt out.

If that’s not the case, the best way to stop unsolicited—and illegal—junk faxes is to complain. Your first step: res a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC levies fines on junk fax senders based on the number of complaints logged against them.

Also notify the state attorney general’s office in the faxer’s state, which may be listed on the incoming document—and forward a copy to the sender, which may stop future transmissions. A state attorney general’s office investigates junk faxes.

In your complaints, be sure to include as much information as possible about the faxer—such as the sender’s company name, address and definitely the phone number, which should be listed on the fax. If not, you may need to do an Internet search.

You can also send faxers a letter threatening to take legal action. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, you may be entitled to settlements of $500 to $1,500 per unwanted fax.

Sid Kirchheimer is the author of “Scam-Proof Your Life" (AARP Books/Sterling).


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