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Scam Alert: 3 Steps to Avoid Toner Pirates

7/13/2015

Don't Let Toner Pirates Scam You
AAARRRRRRRGH....Pirates are circling your ship!!!

I'm not talking about the kind of pirates that wear eye-patches, wobble around on wooden legs, make their victims walk a plank into shark infested waters, or the comically fun pirates that sail the Caribbean. There is another type of pirate and they are called toner pirates.

Toner pirates call upon you in the disguise of everyday people trying to help you save money. They say they are affiliated with the company in which you order your supplies and that they are calling as a helpful warning that toner prices are about to make a dramatic increase in price. They then suggest buying more toner from them before those higher prices go into effect. What happens next? You receive low grade toner cartridges and an invoice stating that you owe 3 times the price you would normally pay for them. And to top it off, if you return the toner cartridges, a 15% restocking fee will be applied.

Toner pirates have been around for many years and it looks like they will continue to be around. We can fight back though. We can become vigilant and more informed. Below, I have created 3 steps to avoid toner pirates.
1.) Hang up the phone.
If you ever receive a phone call and it seems suspicious or you feel pressured to act fast, hang up the phone and call your supply vendor. The employees at your supply vendor will know of any new pricing taking place or any changes in the industry. The same applies to e-mails; contact your supply vendor right away.
2.) Ask for details only you and your supply vendor would know.
Your account number is a piece of information that only you and your supply vendor should know. Keep this number next to your phone. If anyone calls and states that they are affiliated with, or are your supply vendor, ask them to verify your account number. You may even want to ask for the date of your most recent order as a double verification process.
3.) Be cautious of Data Mining.
Data Mining is the act a toner pirate may use to collect small bits of information about your company in order to sound knowledgeable and trustworthy in a later scam. It may be someone asking who you use as a supply vendor to purchase toner, or asking what model printers you use. Toner pirates can use this information to appear as though they know your account and the business you do with your supply vendor.

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