7 Ways to Stop Junk Fax advertisements on Your Printer

Jun 26, 2020

Fax machine

Advertisements seem to follow us everywhere we go. Through radio waves, televisions, targeted cell phone ads, print, and physical media, this form of communication transcend all mediums for a chance at persuading you to open your wallet.

Advertising dates back all the way to about 700 BC around ancient China, albeit in a more primitive form. Pipers would play tunes on a flute and recite poetry to persuade local marketers to purchase their candy. And here in the modern century, it's somehow gotten even more annoying than a piper following you around the market. We're talking about the bottom of the barrel levels of intrusive advertising - junk fax.

Junk fax, as defined by the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC), are unsolicited telemarketing advertisements that are sent via fax transmission. Similar to spam emails, junk fax takes it a step further and intrudes on your personal printer. Probably the most egregious factor in fax advertising comes at the expense of your own supplies. Junk fax will rapidly eat away at your precious printer ink and paper without your consent. So that brand new $40 HP 63 ink cartridge you bought might not last you as long as you expected.

But what can you do to combat these unwanted advertisements? We'll give you the rundown of how to stop spammers dead in their tracks. We realize that a lot of these methods are extreme and honestly get increasingly more ridiculous the further down the list. If you're really this fed up with receiving these junk advertisements, you should probably just keep your laser printer shut off.

1- Turn Off Automatic Fax Printing

If there was only one method on this list to recommend, this by far would be the first and only one. Turning off automatic fax printing is really the best way to stop receiving unwanted junk advertisements from being printed on your dime. While inkjet and laser printers are different, their settings menu will usually give you the option to disable this feature. It may take some digging around, particularly in the Fax Setting or Options menu.

All-In-One HP Printers, for one reason or another, always seem to have the Automatic Fax Printing option turned on by default, possibly to exhibit the printer's capabilities. Once you turn that setting off, you will need to manually accept the message before it is printed, every time fax comes through. This works great for those who still do use the faxing capabilities on their HP printer and regularly receive messages. 


2- Opt-Out of Fax Messages

Probably the next rational thing you can do to cease these advertisements is opt-out of them. Opting out is similar to replying 'STOP' to automated text messages. This will automatically take you off of the senders' list and ensure that you will be unsubscribed from any future notifications.

But opting out of junk fax isn't as easy as you think. You need to provide a written response that clearly states you are willing to opt-out of the service. Depending on the sender, some will provide an easier way to opt-out than others. Legitimate businesses will usually leave instructions on the bottom of the page to stop the messages. Other more predatory advertisements will leave you absolutely no recourse, which can be frustrating for those who receive these messages constantly. 

To formally request an Opt-Out of Junk Fax, you must: 

  1. Follow the instructions (usually found on the bottom of the advertisements), which will either have you emailing or calling a toll-free number. These opt-out contact options are available 24/7. 
  1. When sending your opt-out request, be sure to include the telephone number of your fax machine. 
  1. By submitting your opt-out request, the company is legally obligated to honor it within 30 days.

Unhappy customers

3- Send a Complaint to the FCC

Reporting a fraudulent advertiser may seem like you're going to an extreme, but it really couldn't be further from the truth. Reports from 2019 indicate that the FCC has taken action in over 350,000 complaints from fraudulent calls, messaging, and faxes combined. You're not alone in wanting these companies to stop harassing you.

It may seem a bit more petty than usual, but you can enjoy solace in knowing that an annoying company is getting their just desserts. Due to the Junk Fax Prevention Act amended by the FCC, all unsolicited fax messages sent to a user have a punishment of up to $500 minimum per page. Keep in mind that the Junk Fax Prevention Act only protects you from sends that do not have an Established Business Relationship (EBR). Meaning, if you have conducted business with them in the past, they are able to send you these messages without recourse initially.

The Federal Communications Commission doesn't take kindly to spammers in any way. Filing a complaint is usually where you can hit these companies in the wallet. With massive fines being sent their way every time you receive junk fax, they are sure to stop within the near future. 

To report a company for fraudulent fax messaging, you can contact their Consumer Complaint Center or call 1-888-CALL-FCC. 

Lady showing stop gesture

4- Do NOT Respond to Sender

As recently stated, responding to the sender will enact an Established Business Relationship. This EBR will nullify any previous opt-out agreements accepted by the sender. It seems counterintuitive, but it is just the way things work from a legal standpoint. The last thing you want is to eliminate your only legal recourse against these spammers. 

As tempting as it is to tell them off or respond to them in a negative way, it's just going to do more harm. The ONLY thing you should be sending to them is an Opt-Out Request, as stated above. It's important to note that Opt-Out Requests are usually not sent via fax, so avoid faxing that number back at all costs. 

5- Disconnect from Wi-Fi

This method is probably for more modern users that don't utilize their faxing capabilities on their printer. You can't receive junk faxes if you're disconnected from the world. Time to pull that plug ethernet plug and kiss those spam messages goodbye.

This might not work for people who regularly use their internet capabilities. It's important to note that disconnecting from your Wi-Fi will also cease any future firmware updates that are made to your printer, meaning your printer will be stuck in limbo and not receive any updates until connected to the internet again.

If your printer does not have Wi-Fi capabilities, you can still utilize this trick in some capacity.

Older inkjet printers can also pull the plug on their dial-up landline. This effectively severs the connection to all outside communication.

6- Remove Your Ink Cartridge

You can't be spammed if you can't even print. This can be done in a few different ways, either by removing the paper from the paper tray or by removing your ink cartridges from the printer entirely. 

If you think that removing your ink cartridges seems like a pretty extreme step to take to avoid these messages, we agree with you. This should be reserved for the most dedicated or, likely fed-up, users. Depending on the printer, this will either give you an option to print the fax after you have returned the consumable or omit it completely, like a missed phone call.

Unplugging printer

7- Unplug Your Printer 

If you've tried all the steps above and none of them have worked for you, you probably didn't read them and scrolled directly to the bottom of the page.

It's okay; we're throwing all of those practical steps out the window. If you want a 100% surefire way to stop getting those junk faxes, just pull the plug from your printer. You heard that correctly, we're not hitting the power button, that's way too rational for your liking. 

It may sound strange, but some newer printers such as the HP LaserJet Pro M404 use their power button very loosely. The power button is used primarily to put the printer into a low power consumption rest-mode when inactive, rather than to turn the entire laser printer off.

If your printer keeps receiving junk fax after pulling the plug, it sounds like you have more of a poltergeist problem than a junk fax problem. While we can't help you with your other-worldly issues, we can assist you with affordable printer ink cartridges. 

Here at 1ink.com, we offer a vast selection of discount printer ink and toner cartridges to fit just about any printer on the market. With thousands of different cartridges from popular printer manufacturers like Canon ink, Epson, HP, and Brother, we've got the right ink cartridge for you. With over 20 years of experience in the business, 1ink.com is one of the most trustworthy brands in the industry to this very day. For exclusive discounts and coupons, check out our website today.