Don’t Become a Victim of Toner Pirates

Don't Become a Victim of Toner Pirates | RYAN Business Systems

As a business owner today, you need to be constantly vigilant about security. There are plenty of criminals out there ready to defraud your business. The latest scam businesses need to be wary of is related to toner. Toner scams are real, and it’s easy to become a victim.

Recently, authorities seized 67,000 counterfeit toner cartridges in Nigeria, and in 2017, 21 people were arrested in a 126 million dollar telemarketing scam that involved selling counterfeit, cheaply made toner to small businesses and non-profits.

Look for These Signs…

In many companies, ordering print supplies flies under the budget radar. Because toner requires frequent replacement, it’s the perfect target for scammers. Toner pirates typically start the scam with a seemingly harmless phone call. The caller might ask you to take a survey or pretend to be a service technician and ask questions about your print fleet. Later, you’ll receive a legitimate-looking invoice based on the information you provided. It will show up in your accounts payable department where it is often paid, no questions asked.

If someone offers to sell you supplies at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Often you’ll get a super-low price for a single cartridge, but then you’ll receive a large box to pad the invoice. The supplies you do receive are often counterfeit, cheaply made cartridges that leak, or don’t work at all.

Protect Yourself

Educate your team and implement best practices to protect your business. They include:

  • Provide your team with a list of accepted vendors.
  • Have a print purchasing manager. 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 verify the source.
  • If an offer is too good to be true, it probably is.

If you receive a call that “feels wrong” or if you’re being pressured to “act now,” hang up. Call your authorized supplier and ask if they called. Remember, you’re not legally obligated to pay for any item you did not order. If you receive unordered supplies or think you’re being scammed, call the Better Business Bureau and report the call.

To learn more about keeping your print environment protected, contact us at RYAN Business Systems.

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