Getting too much fax spam - how to turn off fax ability

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Getting too much fax spam - how to turn off fax ability

Postby TomGo » 05/13/2018

I guess the FAX spam bots have discovered that my phone # is faxable.

The ability to receive fax is interesting - I didn't even know about it until this started - but I don't need it so I looked for a way to turn it off, but to no avail.

So, how do I turn off this off or otherwise resolve this problem.

Thanks.
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Re: Getting too much fax spam - how to turn off fax ability

Postby Liptonbrisk » 05/15/2018

You can't disable the capacity for the voicemail system to accept faxes. Doing so wouldn't necessarily stop the problem either
Some family friends have been hit with repeated fax spam, despite not owning a fax machine and just using a regular POTS landline.

You can block calls in the Fongo Mobile app under Settings-->Phone Service-->Blocked numbers.

Also visit https://forums.redflagdeals.com/freepho ... #p28880501. The second half of the post applies.
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Re: Getting too much fax spam - how to turn off fax ability

Postby TomGo » 05/15/2018

Thanks for the info.

As discussed in the post you linked, I'm concerned that adding my # to the Canadian do not call list might cause more spam then it stops.

I'll keep an eye on the faxes I get and see whether they the source # is repeating, and then block if they are.

In my experience this problem of spam calls (and faxes I guess) is getting worse and worse, so I think Fongo will need to try and help its users deal with it, and turning off incoming fax capability (or blocking them in some way) would be a good start.

Tom
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Re: Getting too much fax spam - how to turn off fax ability

Postby Liptonbrisk » 05/16/2018

TomGo wrote:
As discussed in the post you linked, I'm concerned that adding my # to the Canadian do not call list might cause more spam then it stops.


In my experience, using the DNCL reduces telemarketing, including fax advertising, from Canadian sources but, unfortunately, increases the potential for telemarketing scam calls from foreign sources.

and turning off incoming fax capability


I don't want fax support completely disabled. The fact that Freephoneline/Fongo, unofficially, supports T.38 fax protocol is one of the best features of the service, in my opinion.
Additionally, doing so wouldn't necessarily stop the problem either. As I mentioned, I know people who have no fax support at all but still get hammered.

I find fax support extremely useful.
Also, keep in mind that telemarketers, including fax spammers, can often spoof or fake, any outgoing telephone number they want. Consequently, unless you actually are able to receive the fax, you may never discover the true source of the incoming fax. Typically, they want you to contact them, so they'll provide a real phone number or email address in the fax. If it's a legitimate company, they'll also provide the name. And then you know who to blame. Without receiving the fax, it's often difficult to determine who the source is.
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Re: Getting too much fax spam - how to turn off fax ability

Postby TomGo » 05/16/2018

Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that they kill fax support for everyone.

I imagine that the vast majority of users have no interest in receiving faxes, and I suggest that they allow us to disable it for our own accounts, ie. as a account based setting.

You note correctly that receiving the fax will allow me to get the real info on the sender, but that doesn't get me the sending ph# which, as you point out, could still be blocked. And I once I get to the point that I reviewing the actual contents of the fax to try to figure out who sent it so I can take action against it, I've really lost by allowing them to waste so much of my time.
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Re: Getting too much fax spam - how to turn off fax ability

Postby Liptonbrisk » 05/16/2018

TomGo wrote: I suggest that they allow us to disable it for our own accounts, ie. as a account based setting.


Being able to toggle receiving faxes on and off wouldn't bother me. That's fine. I just question whether that would actually stop fax telemarketers completely. I definitely don't want the feature completely disabled.

You note correctly that receiving the fax will allow me to get the real info on the sender, but that doesn't get me the sending ph# which, as you point out, could still be blocked.


Here's what happens when spoofing occurs:

1) Spammer might be using a VoIP service that allows him or her to fake the outgoing number.

2) The fake outgoing number can be blocked. Let's say the fake number is 519-999-9999. You can set Fongo Mobile to block 519-999-9999. All calls from 519-999-9999 will be blocked, including these faxes, even though the outgoing number is spoofed.

Chances are the telemarketer, after a week (or a few days), changes the outgoing number. And then you have to block a new number.

3) Quite often 519-999-9999 is someone else's legitimate phone number, and you're now also blocking that person from calling you. Also the real person who owns 519-999-9999 will probably receive tons of calls complaining about telemarketing calls, despite the fact it's not that person's fault.

Anyway, my point is that you can still block future incoming fax calls from that spoofed number.

I don't answer calls from numbers that I don't recognize. If the call is important, I feel, the caller will leave a message. If you decline an incoming call, the call will go directly to voicemail. That's one method of being able to quickly determine whether an incoming call is a fax: send the call to voicemail; then check your voicemail.

And I once I get to the point that I reviewing the actual contents of the fax to try to figure out who sent it so I can take action against it, I've really lost by allowing them to waste so much of my time.


You can view the incoming fax in Fongo Mobile's voicemail section of the app. After the fax has been successfully transmitted to you, exit out of Fongo Mobile, then run Fongo Mobile again. Check the voicemail section of the app. You can read the fax within a few minutes of it being fully received directly from within the app. You can also have the fax automatically forwarded to your email address. So, the process of receiving and reading the fax isn't necessarily time consuming. In fact, Fongo Mobile makes receiving faxes extremely convenient. However, reacting or reporting the fax to the RCMP (if it's a scam) or the CRTC (if you decide to register your number on the Do Not Call List) certainly can be time consuming, unfortunately. You can report scams/fraud here: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/index-eng.htm. The Do Not Call List can be found here: https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/insnum-regnum-eng.

I do agree that telemarketing calls (fax or voice) are annoying. Hopefully, it becomes more difficult for Canadian sources, at least, to spoof numbers after March 31st, 2019: https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2018/2018-32.htm.
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Re: Getting too much fax spam - how to turn off fax ability

Postby TomGo » 05/16/2018

Ah, so April 1, 2019 is the day I'm waiting for then, because I think that most of the spam I get is of this VoIP with fake number variety that you've described very well above. These days most of them have a number very similar to my own.

Getting rid of the fake number problem is very important because most of the solutions I've seen - eg. apps that crowd-source spam numbers - rely on the caller-id #, so they will be close to useless until April 2019. Or maybe worse then useless as you've described the potential to block innocent people.

Like you, I don't answer them if I don't recognize the caller-id.

But since I don't use my Fongo line for fax at all, I know that all incoming faxes are spam.
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Re: Getting too much fax spam - how to turn off fax ability

Postby Liptonbrisk » 05/16/2018

TomGo wrote: These days most of them have a number very similar to my own.


Yes, let's say your phone number is 519-123-4567. Scammers may try to call you from a spoofed (fake) outbound number that closely resembles yours, such as 519-12x-xxxx (where x is a digit from 1 to 9).
The idea is that if the outbound CID (caller ID) number closely resembles yours, you'll answer the call, thinking, "Hey, this number looks like mine. I wonder who it is?"
But it's not a neighbour or a friend. It's really some scammer from an international destination trying to trick you into giving your credit card information, for example.


Getting rid of the fake number problem is very important


While what happens after March 31, 2019 may restrict Canadian VoIP services and Canadian service providers from allowing their customers to spoof outgoing numbers, the CRTC is unlikely to be able to restrict VoIP services operating in the U.K., India, or elsewhere from allowing their customers to spoof outgoing numbers. Anyway, the scammer/robocaller situation is pretty frustrating.
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