Office Supply Scams

Be wary if someone calls and offers to sell you expensive toner or other office supplies before their prices go up. You might not get the high quality office supplies you were expecting!

Consumers aren’t the only ones targeted by telemarketing scams. Businesses can also fall victim to fraudulent telemarketing schemes. One of these business-related telemarketing scams is known as the “toner” or “office supply” scheme.

How the scam works

In a typical toner scheme, telemarketers contact businesses to find out the models and makes of the copiers they use. Once they have that information, the fun begins.

Not long after the original data gathering call’s been made, a second call is placed to the business. This time the telemarketer poses as a representative from the company that makes their copier. The purpose of the call, they potential scam victim is told, is to let them know they’re raising toner prices but if an order is placed now toner can be delivered at the current price. But the order must be placed immediately to receive toner at the lower cost.

If the business falls for it, one of two things usually happens. Either an invoice is received before the toner is shipped or some of the toner arrives with the invoice. It’s a bad deal either way.

The toner “deal” is a bad one

Even if you do get the toner you ordered it will cost a lot more than if you’d ordered it directly from the manufacturer. Sometimes the toners can’t be used in your copiers but are labeled incorrectly so they appear to be what you need.

Graymarket toner

Many businesses have reported receiving “graymarket” toner — poor quality toner that doesn’t the copier manufacturers requirements or quality specifications — instead of the toner they ordered. Using these toners is often a bad choice because graymarket toners are known to clog copiers which can lead to costly repairs or maintenance.

Many businesses fail to notice the difference and realize they’ve been had only after a company representative or service agent discovers the graymarket toner and informs them of it. If it comes up, the business will learn the price increase was only a ruse devised to con them.

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