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FCC imposes a $1,840,000 TCPA Penalty for Unlawful Fax Advertisements


The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restricts the use of fax machines to deliver unsolicited advertisements. The TCPA’s prohibitions against using fax machines applies to facsimile messages that constitute “unsolicited advertisements”. The TCPA’s fax rules apply both to residential and business fax numbers. The “Junk Fax Prevention Act” amended the TCPA in 2005 to permit the sending of unsolicited fax advertisements to businesses and individual consumers when the sender has an established business relationship. However, even with an established business relationship, the recipient can request the sender to cease sending unlawful fax advertisements.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently imposed a $1.84 million penalty against DSM Supply, LLC and Somaticare, LLC. They allege the company sent 115 unsolicited fax advertisements to 26 consumers in violation of the TCPA. The FCC stated the “intrusion, expense, and disruption of business activities (including patient care) that resulted from these junk faxes highlight the harms that Congress sought to prevent by prohibiting unsolicited fax advertisements”.

Further, the FCC noted that DSM Supply and Somaticare sent advertisements to fax machines without prior permission or an established business relationship. Further, in the facsimile advertisements that were sent, none contained the required “opt-out” notices.

If you are receiving unlawful advertisements on your fax machine, the TCPA may allow you to bring a private suit. You can recover monetary damages from $500 to $1,500 per violation if the defendant willingly or knowingly committed the violation. To speak to a TCPA attorney about any unwanted faxes or telephone calls, contact Karl S. Gwaltney with Maginnis Law at 919.960.1545,, or through our confidential contact page.