Toner pirates call you in the disguise of everyday people trying to help you save money. They say they are affiliated with the company you order your supplies from and that they are calling as a helpful warning that toner prices are about to dramatically increase. 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. 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. You can fight back though. Below, are 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 emails; 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 additional verification.

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 to sound knowledgeable and trustworthy. 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.