Beware of the Toner Phoner Scam

What is it?

The toner phoner scam usually involves a sequence of phone calls. In the first set, the caller hopes to find a new employee, temp, or person who will easily give information. Posing as the company’s vendor or perhaps as a survey taker, the caller asks the employee to read the make and model number off the nearest printer. Faced with such a seemingly harmless request—and not realizing a legitimate vendor would probably know the information already the employee complies.

The bite comes a little later. Again posing as a representative of a warehouse or vendor , the scammer contacts someone in the company. If it’s the same employee, they may be reminded of the earlier conversation as if the scammer was an old friend. The employee hears about a tempting offer on toner cartridges that just so happen to fit their printer.

Naturally, there’s a limited supply, or a limited time, so the employee is pressured to agree to have a case or two sent out. Again, the caller may strive to make it seem that he or she is already an approved vendor and just needs a verbal agreement to authorize the sale.

The resulting delivery contains the surprise. It could be it’s cut-rate toner sold at a name brand price or perhaps a case of cartridges containing far fewer units than expected. In any case, the company is overcharged for the product. In some instances, companies receive invoices for products they never ordered or even received. If someone complains, the scammers might say the invoice is legitimate and that failure to pay could result in a lawsuit or worse. Or they might pretend that the salesperson “forgot” about a discount and offer the cartridges for a reduced but still highly profitable price.

There are several ways you can protect your company against telemarketing fraud:
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Designate specific people in your organization responsible for ordering supplies for your Xerox equipment.
  • Before paying invoices, confirm that the supplies were ordered, the pricing is correct, and the product has been delivered.
  • When contacted by someone selling supplies, ask for the person’s name, company name, and call back number. Be wary of anyone who refuses to provide this information.
  • If a supplier misrepresented their company or the goods, write the company a letter explaining why you are disputing the bill.
  • Don’t be pressured into paying. Fraudulent companies often use threat of collection or legal action to get payment.

For further information contact Dahill A Xerox Company @ 1-800-413-3526

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