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Fax back scams

What is a fax back scam?

A faxback scam is an unsolicited fax that can offer you anything from amazing diets to fantastic deals, business directory entries and competition entries—all you have to do is send a fax back to a premium rate number (starting with 190). Premium rate faxes can be charged at more than $6.00 per minute. The scammers make sure your fax will take several minutes to get through, resulting in hefty, unnecessary phone bills (a single fax could cost you $20 or $30).

They usually target small business, often with offers of directory entries and catalogues of goods and services.

Warning signs

  • You receive a fax from an unknown source offering you a great deal or a large discount.
  • The fax includes fine print.
  • The faxback number is a premium rate service (190).

Protect yourself from fax back scams

  • Never give out or clarify any information about your business unless you know what the information will be used for.
  • Be careful of phone numbers beginning with 190. These are charged at a premium rate and can be very expensive.

As well as following these specific tips, find out how to protect yourself from all sorts of other scams.

Do your homework

If you have received an unsolicited fax and you are interested in the product it advertises—research the product before making any decisions. You might find a cheaper option available elsewhere. If the fax includes any fine print or conditions or contact details, make sure you take a note of them and always note the final cost of the call.

If you are concerned about the fax, you can contact your local office of fair trading.


Never send a return fax to one of these unsolicited faxes without first ensuring you know how much the fax will cost and whether the company and its products are worth the expense.

Report them

If you have received a fraudulent directory entry invoice or phone call, or if you have sent money to pay for an entry which you now realise is a scam, you can report it through the SCAMwatch website. You should also spread the word to your friends, family and colleagues to protect them.


What to do if you've been scammed; Scams & the law; Report a scam.

Similar scams:

Small businesses can be misled into paying for a directory listing or other advertisement that may not exist or was not authorised.

Your small businesses may be invoiced for office supplies you never ordered, never received or were not what you thought you agreed to.

Scams that send you a fake renewal notice for your actual domain name, or a misleading invoice for a domain name that is very similar to your own.

There are a range of scams marketed as business opportunities. They promise success but usually only the promoter makes any money.

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