"How Do I Stop Fax Spam?"

Harry keeps getting spammed via his fax machine. Frankly, we think fax machines stopped being relevant or useful in about 1998, but until the rest of the world catches up to our way of thinking, here are some ways you can try to limit the damages.

First the bad news: no, there’s no “Do Not Fax” list. However, you you can still file a complaint with the FCC if you’re being faxed without permission.

You might also check out JunkFax.org, an advocacy site that’s filled with resources to fight junk faxers. JunkFax.org will ask you to provide an email address for some services—they say they want to be able to contact you when there’s legislative news in your state—but even if you don’t participate in their general cause you can find a lot of useful information, including a lengthy step-by-step process to fight back.

They also suggest you turn to your phone service provider for help:

The foolproof way to actually find out who they are is to call the phone company and have them put a “call trap” on your line (see Investigation tools for more information). Then file a small claims case against “john doe” and fill out a small claims subpoena either to the sheriff or the phone company so they will tell you who is calling you. Then use Abika to find out who they really are if the phone company data didn’t reveal that. Then contact them. If they don’t stop, sue them.

Finally, if you’re willing to spend money rather than time to fight junk faxers, you can invest in equipment or services to filter them out.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.