Small businesses around the country have reported receiving an unwanted fax, telling them how to end "unwanted faxes." The best advice? Throw it away.

The fax comes from an organization called the "Envirofax Commission." In bold type, the fax declares "Fax Us Your Unwanted Faxes." In smaller type the fax notes that a change in regulations, in 2006, gives fax recipients the the right to opt-out from receiving future faxes.

"Please fax your unwanted faxes to the Envirofax Commission," the fax declares. "We will contact the sender and have your fax number permanently removed from their fax list."

What's the angle?

The fax states this service is free, so what's the angle? According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the motive may not be all that altruistic.

"It sounds too good to be true and like a scam to gain active fax numbers," the BBB says.

The group said, based on its inquiries made more than a year ago, it believes that there is no such thing as this commission, and that this group’s primary goal is to confirm valid fax numbers to that it can turn around and sell them to companies that send out junk faxes.

No contact info

The BBB notes the flyer contains no phone number or address for the organization, just a fax number.

Under the government's regulations, a business can only send you a fax if they have an existing business relationship, or "there is an 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.”

How to opt out

When you receive an unwanted fax and want to opt-out of receiving additional faxes in the future, your request must identify the fax number or numbers to which it relates and be sent to the telephone number, fax number, Web site address, or e-mail address identified on the fax advertisement.


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