How to Stop Unwanted Faxes

by Marie Miller ; Updated September 26, 2017
Unsolicited faxes waste paper and ink.

American consumers know about the 2003 National Do Not Call Registry. Less renowned is the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which legislated junk faxes 12 years earlier. A 2004 Harris Poll found 53 percent of consumers received far fewer telemarketing calls after entry on the Registry. Yet many offices are still inundated with fax offers for hot stocks and discounted Bahamas vacations. Just three daily unsolicited faxes total more than 1000 pages per year. To completely stop junk faxes, turn off your machine. If you long to be green, but aren't prepared for so draconian a method, alleviate junk faxes with a few proactive steps.

Opt out.

Call to remove yourself from the marketing list. The 2005 Junk Fax Prevention Act requires all fax marketers to provide an opt-out telephone number.

Learn more about your fax machine's capabilities.

Review your fax machine documentation. It may be possible to block your machine from receiving certain fax numbers.

Utilize fax-to-email or Web-based fax software. Both allow you to review and delete junk faxes prior to printing them, thereby saving resources.

Complain to the FCC.

File an online complaint with the FCC. The FCC fines fax marketers according to the number of complaints it receives.

Sue violators. Under the TCPA, you may be entitled to $500 in damages for each junk fax.


  • Your state may provide additional protection from junk faxes. Check with your state attorney general's office. Although it's legally required, many fax marketers still don't list opt out information. Use the fax number to perform a reverse number search yourself, or contact your phone service provider for assistance.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Marie Miller worked 15 years as a newspaper reporter in New Jersey and California. Her articles have appeared in the Asbury Park Press, the Star Ledger and the Del Mar Sun. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Boston University

Photo Credits

  • kalleboo/Flickr.com, slashcrisis/Flickr.com, bennylin0724/Flickr.com, NIOSH/Flickr.com
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