How to ID
The good news is that you can always find out who is sending you the junk faxes if you follow the steps below.
First use this page: How to identify the fax broadcaster
If you get an unsolicited fax, follow this procedure (one of the first three is almost always guaranteed to work):
- Have the phone company put a call trap on your line. When you get a fax, you dial a special code after receipt or keep a call log and enter it periodically. They can then release this information to the police/sheriff and the police/sheriff will release it to you or your attorney in response to a subpoena. You can have the information you want within days and it's admissible and credible in court. We highly recommend this. See the Q&A for more on traps.
- The simplest way to find out who they are is to pretend you are actually interested in their offer and try to fool them into giving you their real address, e.g, you don't have a credit card and need to mail them a check or you are the purchasing agent at your company and you have to have an address to send the Purchase Order. Be creative. But this can only ID the advertiser and not the blaster.
- Highly recommended: Use Abika which offers a very comprehensive set of searches and is very similar to Docusearch. Unlike Docusearch they can trace the source of a fax call into your phone number. See details here.
- Also recommended: Use Docusearch to find who owns the phone number (such as the 800 or 900 number). This almost always works, but it isn't free. If your time is valuable, this is the fastest way to go. You only pay if they find the answer. For 900 numbers, this is the way to go since you won't be able to use the method in the previous bullet. You can then have a lawyer subpoena the 900 number company to find out who their client is.
- For pump and dump faxes, here's a possible approach. A few months after the fax appears, take a look at the price and volume graph for the stock. Also goto sec.gov and lookup filings by the issuer. I did this last night for an issue that a client of mine got a fax for last September and turned up the marketing agreement under which the presumptive faxer got the shares he dumped. Other filings to look for would be insider or high-volume purchases or sales, which must be reported.
Here are some other ways:
- Check on the Junk Fax Library which shows typical faxes from all the major broadcasters
- Check for a removal number belonging to fax.com
- Check the profiles of the most notorious spammers
- Check this list
- try my personal list of investigative tools on the Internet for looking up phone numbers, addresses, owners of websites, etc.
- Attach CallerID to your fax line (they will usually block their callerID however) and use Docusearch (below)
- do a google search for the removal number
- Collect your faxes. you'll start to notice patterns that you can use to distinguish them
- Search for them in the Junk Fax Library at www.junkfaxes.com.
- Join the junkfax listserve: The JunkFAX-L Mailing List and ask there.
- Try superpages.com and use their reverse number lookup. If you can't find the exact number you can use * as a wild card. Some companies have many numbers, also some have many companies listed to the same address and number.
Other methods of identifying a company.
- List of known remove numbers, the associated company and any other pertinent information.
- Find out who owns a PO Box has techniques to find out the owner of PO Box or PMB
- Look at the secretary of state website for their tax information.
- Search D&B for the free information available (pay if you want more detailed info)
- See who the FCC have spanked recently.
When you find out, let us know and we'll post it here.
This page is maintained by Andy.
Other useful info
For all states, check and http://www.pac-info.com/ and http://www.residentagentinfo.com/
- Instructions for obtaining info on California Corporations
- Florida Corporations search engine
- Florida Travel Reseller rules (call 850-410-3805 to check a travel reseller registration)
- For Registered agent, call the Secretary of State office at (803) 734-2158
- For Officers, call the Dept. of Revenue at (803) 898-5705
- Texas Corporations search
- DBA names
- Texas Secretary of State database. That one isn't online anywhere but you can get the info by calling them at (512) 463-5555.
- SCC Information - (804) 371-9967 or toll-free (in Virginia only) 1-800-552-7945.
- Corporations - (804) 371-9733. For questions about corporate officers and directors, registered agents, charters and annual statements, and limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and registered limited liability partnerships.
All-States investigative resources
http://www.nanpa.com/number_resource_info/carrier_id_codes.html (download the "Feature Group D CIC assignments" zipfile.)
Ameritech has an automated RespOrg ID service. Call 800-337-4194
Tracking down 900 numbers
Locating a telephone number from the area code & prefix
Tips on tracking down the owner of a phone number are here.
Tracking down an attorney? Check here and here
Are they really a charity? Check here and here
Tracking down a bank? Check here.
Areacode info is here.
Prefix info is here http://www.thedirectory.org/pref/
Another way of locating a Texas company is to contact the PUC and ask for a
copy of the ADAD permit (888-782-8477). That should list a physical address
and telephone numbers used.
Tracking down POB Holder: You want Postal Bulletin 21607 2-19-87, Page 11.
It's a request for PO Box owner information.
Phone numbers for 900 carriers need to be updated. The list posted at
the national Numbering plan are old and some do not apply any more.
Current number for MCI is 800 888 1800 and ask for the 900 department.
Current number for AT&T is 800 323 6672 direct to the department.
I just learned about Verizon's Call 54 service. If you want to know who
owns a number, you call the area code of the number and then 555-5454. It
is an automated system, and I was told it now costs 95 cents a call. Unless
the number is unlisted, you should get the information. I was calling about
what appears to be a cell phone number, so apparently it may work for those
SEC Complaint Center
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20549-0213
There's more information at http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml
See also investigative tools