Monday, October 8

Update: Fake USA TODAY Story 'Endorses' Scam Cancun Trips

It seems that the scammers trying to pawn trips to Cancun via an endorsement from a bogus USA Today article have had to update their phone number. The old number was 800-417-3710. They are now using 800-419-5431.

Call 800-419-5431 to get screwed out of hundreds of dollars

The story is the same, only that these scam artists have not been put out of business. However, the more they have to change their phone number, the more often they will have to refax the scam, and hopefully the more likely people are to ignore them.

See my original post for more details and how to report this fax to the proper authorities as what they are doing is a crime.

It is unlawful to fax an advertisement to any recipient - residential or business - unless the recipient has given the sender permission to fax or has an established business relationship with the sender. Under this law, you have an “established business relationship” with the fax sender if you have made an inquiry, application, purchase, or some other transaction with that individual or business. A fax advertisement sent without an established business relationship or prior express permission is unlawful even if it contains an “opt-out notice.” Non-advertising faxes, however, are permitted.

An advertisement is “any material which advertises the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services.” Materials that appear to be surveys or informational “newsletters” actually may be advertisements. For instance, a “survey” is actually an advertisement if it costs money to participate or if the survey promotes property, goods, or services in addition to asking questions.

Likewise, so-called newsletters often are advertisements. Fax advertisements must contain on the first page of the advertisement a clear and conspicuous opt-out notice that explains how to avoid receiving future faxes. Recipients must be provided a cost-free way to opt-out of receiving future fax advertisements (by phone, Internet website, or e-mail) and the sender must honor such opt-out requests within no more than 30 days.

The restrictions on fax advertisements apply regardless of whether the recipient’s fax number is on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. The National Do-Not-Call Registry, which provides consumers an opportunity to opt-out of most telemarketing calls to their homes, applies only to telephone solicitations – in other words, advertising telephone calls – not faxes. By contrast, the FCC’s fax rules prohibit fax advertisements unless an individual or business chooses to opt-in to receiving them by maintaining a business relationship with the sender or giving prior express permission.

All faxes – including those that are not advertisements – must include the following information on either the first page of the fax transmission or in a margin at the top or bottom of every page of the transmission: the date and time the fax was sent, the name of the sender, and the telephone number of the sender or the sending machine. - FCC Spam Fax Complaint form

Fake USA TODAY Story 'Endorses' Scam Cancun Trips - 19 September


Anonymous said...

Interesting. This fax drew my attention mainly because there's no identifying fax # or business ID as required by law. I "opt out" of any others I receive and go about my business.
I called the number referenced in the article. and asked to speak with a manager. He told me,"That's bogus. They're using our number." He claimed he was going to "report the incident to the attorney general" and have my name removed from the list. He said it might take 24 hours or so.
This smells funny for two reasons:
1. Why someone OTHER than would have any incentive to send out faxes referring people to that number is baffling, to say the least.
2. If it's not their internal list, how does he plan to get my fax number removed so quickly???? I know enough about state (and federal) attorneys general to know they ain't THAT efficient.
Sounds like an official complaint is in order, so that's where I'm going next.

Anonymous said...

everyone should set up a fax machine from home to call the 800 number. This way the fax will hang up and redial again. This inturn will not cost you anything, since calling a 800 number from your residential line is free, but will end up costing the owner of the 800 number some $$$$. If we get 100 people to call the 800 # 10 times aday for 10 days, this bogus anoying company would then get a bill for ruffly est. at $1 charge per call = $10,000.