Every small business can be a target for some type of scam. Since I started in the copier business the most common one I have encountered is the Toner Scam. Individuals or organizations will solicit toner or copier supplies to small business at a higher cost than the product is worth. These outfits usually operate from out of state, which makes it very difficult to return the merchandise and in turn confusing to figure out exactly who you are dealing with. After using devious means to get an order, the scammers will ship the copier supplies (usually copier toner) and later send an invoice for many times what the copier toner is worth.
The basic operation is this: these telemarketing hucksters call in to an office to get basic information. The most common information they gather is what copier you are using or who your supplier is. Later they will use this information by pretending to be calling from the supplier’s office. They also get information on names of people on the office staff so they know who works in your office. This is the key.
You Need Copier Toner, but Beware
Later they will call back often asking for a specific employee. I have even had them mention my name or Dean Office Solutions to say they are calling at my request. Usually they will target a junior employee using the information gathered from a previous call. The main scam is to explain that there will be a price increase for the copier toner for your specific copier and ask the receptionist or some other junior employee if they can send a couple toners at the old price to save you money.
Once they get the name of the employee that approves the transaction they will hang up. The toner or copier supplies arrive in a day or two and the bill arrives later but at usually 10 times what it should cost. Recently I had a customer billed $500 for what should have cost $55.
If you do get caught in this scam, do your best to just return the toner. Also, many times Dean Office Solutions can help with the unwanted product. The scammers will aggressively try to collect the money. Also, contact the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also want to consult an attorney if it becomes an ongoing situation.
It is best to warn your employees to be on guard and not give out any information about your business operation or copier supplies. If you deal with Dean Office Solutions and are contacted by someone you are unsure about, one option is to say you will get back to them but instead follow up with us. You need to tell your employees to be vigilant and not give information to telephone solicitors. The best bet is to ever agree to accept anything without getting approval no matter how good it sounds. Contact Dean Office Solutions for any questions on your copier service and supplies.