How to Avoid Getting Scammed by Toner Pirates

Ever get a phone call from somebody asking information about your copier machine? If so, you may be the target of a scam artist, known as a Toner Pirate. These scam artists call businesses pretending to be from a local copier company and trick them into buying toner supplies at extremely high prices. They claim to be offering discount toner or that the price will soon increase pushing you to stock up now. Scams like these are very common but you can avoid them easily.

Recognizing a Scam:
• They employ high pressure sales tactics
• Use phrases such as: “Beat the price increase”, “Last remaining in stock” or “Offer expiring today.”
• They won’t leave contact information.
• Being asked for information on your copier, such as the model number.
• They mention processing and handling fees.
• No company information to go through mail, only UPS or hand delivery.

• They can’t provide references.

Handling Scammers:
• Train your staff not to give out equipment information. Inform them of this scam.
• Allow only one person authority to make purchasing decision for office supplies. Make sure all calls regarding equipment and toner are forwarded to him.
• Ask for the caller’s contact information, they’ll usually hand up.
• Call your regular supplier to verify the story.
• In writing, dispute the bill and keep a copy for documentation.
• Do not accept the package when the shipment arrives.
• Contact the Better Business Bureau to relate your experience, it might help prevent others from being victims as well.