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Once upon a time there was a bigger problem: spam by fax

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Because of fax spam, significantly fewer people complained to a federal agency last year than before. In 2022, 9161 submissions were made, only about a quarter of 2021, according to a report by the Federal Network Agency. At that time, there were 35,072 complaints, especially unsolicited advertising about respirators and corona tests brought many Germans to the palm. At the beginning of last year, such fax spam gradually subsided, as the declining number of complaints suggested. The reasons for complaints in 2022 were varied, for example about unsolicited advertising for radar detectors, household appliances and office chairs.

Advertising by fax is only permitted if the recipient has given his prior consent. The network agency investigates the angry comments from the population and, if necessary, has phone numbers switched off. However, faxes are increasingly coming from foreign numbers for which the German authorities have no control.

»Intensive combat«

The head of the authority, Klaus Müller, called the decline in the past year encouraging. "It is certainly also due to our intensive fight against fax spam," he said. Although the use of fax machines is declining in the digital age, they can still be found in many companies, public authorities and some private households.

The Federal Network Agency probably knows what it is talking about: In spring 2023, for example, the authority itself was looking for a provider to "provide fax services for a minimum of 12 months, a maximum of 60 months". According to the tender, the Federal Network Agency expected 3000,4000 to 15,<> incoming or outgoing fax pages per month. However, bids to the authority were only possible electronically until <> February.

The number of companies that are still attached to the fax machine is also apparently high: a total of 82 percent of companies in Germany are still said to fax. This is stated in a study published in 2023 by the industry association Bitkom. According to the survey, a third of companies still use fax frequently or very frequently. However, the number of users is declining sharply.