Confidential Fax to an Erroneous Fax Number

I just sent a confidential fax to an erroneous fax number (not a telephone number.) I followed up with a fax to the same number, asking the recipient to phone my home telephone number so I can explain the situation. Is there a way to identify the recipient so I can telephone and request destruction of my fax?

Unfortunately there’s really nothing you can do to find the recipient with certainty (or at least nothing you probably haven’t thought of.) Google the number or try a reverse phone directory. Those are probably your most reliable ways.

If you want to take a chance and don’t mind bothering strangers, try phoning one number less (e.g. if you accidentally faxed 212-555-1234, call -1233) in case someone has their voice line adjacent to their fax line. It’s unlikely, but possible. Or try 212-555-1000 in case it’s a big company with a whole block of numbers.

Some fax machines identify themselves when you transmit to them. Check your fax logs — if their fax machine ID’d itself and yours pays attention to such things, maybe you’ll see that you sent a fax to Acme Company. Whatever the case, closely monitor your credit report and other sensitive information to make sure that nothing suspicious happens.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.