Imagine if Captain Jack Sparrow showed up at your office offering to sell you toner. Not only would it be cool –the guys want to be him and the gals want to date him. But then you’d know that a toner pirate had arrived at your office.

If only it could be so simple.

Toner is a supply that is important, and scammers know that.

Toner pirates target unsuspecting businesses and try to get them to purchase office supplies that are overpriced, poor quality, or non-existent.  These are telemarketing scammers who call for info gathering to try to pressure you into telling you the name of your supplier, or they may even threaten you with taking legal action if you fail to pay.

Identifying Toner pirate scams

  • No, they don’t hoist the Jolly Roger but they could have any of a combination of these traits.
  • The supplier’s company is one that’s not common and you can’t find it on internet searches. Or it’s a play on a supplier’s name but not quite.
  • The caller demands that you give them the brand of your office copier, the address of your company, and sometimes even ask for confidential details about your company.
  • The caller refuses to supply references
  • When you ask to see the order of the copiers, printers, and toners that you’ve purchased from them previously they refuse to give you any documentation.

Avoiding scams

  1. Don’t give out any information about your supplies or your office equipment to anyone that simply cold-called.
  2. Let your employees know that they may be targeted, and not to reveal any information. Tell the employee to tell the caller that they should talk to the supply manager.
  3. Designate one person in the company who handles the supply
  4. Never give out equipment details.
  5. Never accept a shipment that you didn’t previously order. I know it sounds surprising, but some places will send a lower price package that you didn’t order, but by accepting it, any future packages will have a higher price, and as you sign, you are signing a document that signs you up for reoccurring supplies.

Don’t waste your time with someone trying to badger you. Simply walk away; simply hang up.

Do What’s Best for Your Company

Consider hiring a print provider or local authorized dealer who can not only help you get the right office equipment but can also help you with unsavory toner pirates.