Most businesses know it’s more important than ever to be vigilant when it comes to security and stay up to date on the latest breaches and scams. A developing scam to keep an eye out for is called the toner scam. Toner scams are becoming more common and are easy to fall for. In 2017, 21 people were arrested in a 126 million dollar telemarketing scam that involved selling counterfeit, cheaply made toner to small businesses and charities.
What to Watch For…
Print supplies often fly under the radar because purchasing is often decentralized and done on an as-needed basis. Because toner requires frequent replacement, it’s a perfect target for scammers. Toner scams often begin with a seemingly harmless phone call. The caller may ask you to take a survey or may pretend to be a service tech asking questions about your print fleet. Later, you’ll receive a legitimate-looking invoice, based on the info you provided. It will go to your payables department where it will typically be paid.
Look for certain cues – for example, someone offering to sell you supplies at a price that seems too good to be true. Often, you’ll get a super-low price for a single cartridge, but then a large box will be sent to pad the invoice. These cartridges are often counterfeit, cheaply made, can damage your machine, or just don’t work at all.
Don’t Become a Victim
Educating your team, and implementing best practices can protect your business. Some best practices include:
- Provide employees with an authorized vendor list. Educate them to not speak with anyone not on the list.
- Have someone manage print purchasing. Refer all sales calls to them.
- Never provide details about equipment over the phone.
- Order supplies only from authorized dealers.
- Never accept, sign for, or open a package if you can’t confirm the sender.
- If an offer feels too good to be true, it probably is!
If you ever receive a call that just doesn’t feel right or you’re being pressured to “act now,” hang up and call your authorized supplier to confirm it’s them. If you receive unordered supplies or think you’re being scammed, contact us or call the Better Business Bureau to report the caller.