RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Junk emails can be frustrating and lead to serious computer problems, but email inboxes are not the only place for that unwanted material. The fax machine is also a target.

There are ways to stop these junk faxes and you may be surprised to discover that the sender could be breaking a Federal Law.

If you have a fax machine, you know not all faxes are created equal. Some are wanted but some are junk or spam. They are unsolicited faxes with bogus offers that clog up your machine and prevent you from receiving those important faxes.

Most all of these type faxes are some type of gimmick, similar to those junk emails that flood inboxes. The ones that claim you've just won millions of dollar in a lottery or tell you a big inheritance check is waiting for you.

Senders of those unwanted faxes are breaking the law. They are violating the Junk Fax Prevention Act, passed by Congress in 2005. The sender is in violation if they send any unsolicited fax ad to any machine, residential or business without prior permission.

One way you can decrease these junk faxes, make sure your number as private as possible. Also, you can send an opt-out notice and if none of this works, file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. The federal organization can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies violating or suspected of violating the junk fax rules.

If the FCC complaint doesn't work, you can sue. You can either recover the actual monetary loss that resulted from the violation, or receive up to $500 in damages for each violation.

For more information about the Junk Fax Act and a link to the complaint page click here.

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