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Eye On Boise

Idahoans hate those fax ads

The biggest complaint from Idaho consumers to the Attorney General’s consumer protection office in the past year was about unsolicited fax ads – by far. Of the 4,078 consumer complaints the office received in 2004 – the highest number since 1998 – 2,726 were about telecommunications, and most of those were about fax spammers, said Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.

Wasden, who released his 2004 annual report on consumer protection activities, said a settlement with, a California company he described as the “largest fax spammer or fax-blaster in the United States,” should help cut down on Idahoans’ complaints. Under the settlement, is now banned from sending unsolicited faxes into Idaho.

Wasden noted that Idaho law makes it illegal to send unsolicited fax ads. “Simply sending an unsolicited ad by fax is a violation of state law,” he said. “There is nothing in the law that permits sending these faxes until the consumer tells you to stop.”

A prime target of fax spammers is small businesses, Wasden said, who can see their fax machines tied up and their paper, ink and supplies wasted. Said Wasden, “I encourage Idaho consumers to continue to complain to my office as they receive unsolicited fax advertising.”

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.