As we begin a new year, there’s another scam that businesses of all sizes need to be vigilant about. The toner scam is becoming more common and is easy to fall for.

Here’s How It Works…

Toner is a prime target for these criminals (“toner pirates”) because the purchasing of it is often decentralized and unmanaged, and it’s a supply that requires constant reordering.

Toner piracy is primarily a telemarketing scam. Toner pirates will research and obtain information about your print fleet, then contact you by phone pretending to be your supplier. They’ll use this information to trick you into believing they are legitimate and placing an order with them is business as usual.

The toner you receive will not only be overpriced, it will be poor quality, contain less toner than it should, and could damage your equipment.

Tips to Protect Your Business

Be sure to take measures to protect your business. Here are some clues to help you spot a toner pirate:

• Act now! No delays! You have to act immediately.

• They won’t provide you with references or prices in writing.

• They’ll ask for the model numbers or serial numbers for your copiers, printers or fax machines.

• They won’t provide an address or give you an out of state address

The bottom line is don’t order toner from an unsolicited call. If the call doesn’t feel right, just hang up. If the caller is not your usual salesperson, while this can happen as people do take vacations or get sick, call your supplier and confirm they are legitimate. Be sure to give employees a list of authorized providers and educate them to not deal with anyone off the list. If you think that you have been the victim of a toner scam, contact us or the Better Business Bureau.