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Sprint Privacy and similar services

Reader wrote the following:

Dear Sirs:

About 2 years ago, I was constantly hit about every other day by junkfaxer "fax.com" (I think it was) out of California.

After researching the situation, including contacting your organization, I came upon a system run by Sprint (now Embarq) called "Sprint Privacy." For an extra $5/month, I immediately and permanently shut off the spammer.

Simply put, the system works because, when the system recognizes a call that is not part of the normal land-line system, it interrupts the call with an electronic block asking the caller to identify himself with his name at the sound of the tone. When the caller has verbally identified himself, Sprint Privacy then calls me and electronically informs me that " " (here the sound of the caller identifying himself is played) is attempting to reach me. The system then gives me the option of pressing the "1" button to put the call thru or the "2" button to deny the call.

In the case of electronic dialers which, when blocked, immediately dial the last 4 numbers of my phone number (which acts as an "access code" and usually then bypasses the Sprint Privacy block and puts the call thru) I had the opportunity to change my "access code" from the last 4 digits of my phone number to any 4 digits of my choosing. I chose the last 4 digits of my Social Security number.

Now, when the spammer attempts to dial me, his electronic dialer does not know my 4-digit "access code" but attempts to enter the last 4 digits of my phone number and then is promptly hung-up on! This stopped the spammer cold the very next day (and all others who may have attempted to junkfax me in the last 2 years) and there have been no problems since then. Since my phone is never reached by the junkfaxer, I never even know when an attempt is made...nor do I care!!

I can provide my 4-digit access code to anyone I wish. Then, when they call me and hear the electronic block start, they just enter my access code, the block stops, and my phone rings in a normal manner.

This system works automatically whenever a cell-phone user calls me. On my end, when I hear the recorded voice begin, I can simply press the "1" digit twice, the electronic block stops and the call is immediately put thru to me. The spammer works at night in my time zone so when I get a daytime call with a block on it, I just press "1" twice and it is put right thru.

It is my understanding from Sprint, that most all phone systems have a version of Sprint Privacy but, for some reason, the systems are not promoted to their users. In my case, I found it thru my daughter who had found it thru a similar word-of-mouth.

The bottom-line is that it works perfectly but I cannot understand why it has not become common-knowledge among fax owners and websites such as yours. If my case is any standard, it seems that useage of a similar system thru one's own land-line supplier would virtually eliminate the need for one of the other private firms such as you describe that you encountered recently at the electronics show.

Also, why hasn't this been promoted on your website?? Any comments or response??

Question: Can you get legit faxes still with this?

Yes Sir - they come thru normally-hand-dialed (not caller-machine dialed) from the sender's unit. I would suggest that, perhaps before you publicize this just on my say-so, that you contact Sprint/Embarq or a land-line supplier near you. If not Sprint, then describe the system to your land-line supplier and find out what he calls his version of this system and go over it in detail with him to be certain that his system will also block junkfaxers.

Because of the way the system works, I would guess that it may also block a legitimate fax-broadcaster who uses his fax to send a certain number of faxes to a call list on a regular basis.

I helped another local person who had the same problem as I did with the same referral some time ago and it worked for him too.

Thanks for the response.




See also Devices to stop junk faxes