For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: December 11, 2003

Wasden Sues Fax-Spammer

(Boise) - Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has sued a California business that sent hundreds of unsolicited facsimiles to Idaho consumers and businesses over the last 2 years. Wasden is asking the Fourth District Court in Ada County to order Fax.com to stop sending unsolicited faxes to Idaho telephone numbers. Attorney General Wasden is also asking the court to impose civil penalties of more than $1 million dollars.

The Attorney General alleges that Fax.com designs and faxes advertisements for businesses that promote vacation packages, work-at-home schemes, health care plans, and numerous other goods and services. The Attorney General's Office has received more than 270 consumer complaints about unsolicited advertisements sent by Fax.com.

"It is illegal to send unsolicited faxes in Idaho, unless the recipient has subscribed to the fax or has a prior business relationship with the advertiser," Attorney General Wasden said. "Consumers and businesses bear the cost of supporting this unlawful activity because they buy the paper, toner, and electricity necessary to receive the faxes."

The unsolicited faxes sent to Idaho consumers and businesses advise consumers to call a toll free number to remove their fax numbers from Fax.com's database. However, the "unsubscribe" numbers usually have been disconnected or leave callers on indefinite hold.

Fax.com advertises to potential customers that it has compiled a database of over 16 million fax numbers, gathered by using auto-dialers known as "Fax Casters." These computers operate twenty-four hours a day to locate fax numbers and transmit information to Fax.com's database. The information can be sorted into smaller databases based on state, zip code, and county.

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