Not an actual pirate, but products purchased by someone in your office – unknowingly – from a “toner pirate.”
What, exactly, is a toner pirate?
Toner pirates are scam artists who mislead unsuspecting office staff into accepting replacement toner for copy machines, or who send replacement toner unsolicited, and then bill the company at exorbitant rates.
If you have not yet been a victim of this scam, there is a strong possibility this will happen to you or one of your clients in the near future.
Victims of telemarketing fraud include:
Local, state and federal government agencies, charitable organizations, family-owned businesses, churches, schools and multi-million dollar corporations. Anyone who answers a phone is a potential victim.
Every time I hear a story about fraudulent telemarketers, it makes me angry because not only do these criminals cheat businesses out of millions of dollars, but they tarnish the reputations of good, honest office equipment dealers and re-sellers.
It is Critical to Set Yourself Apart if You are Cold Calling
If someone in your office is making cold calls, be sure they clearly identify themselves to the prospect, using company name, first and last name plus the city and state where you are located.
Last week a customer of one of my clients received a call from someone concerning toner for her copier.
The caller identified himself as their “toner supplier” and knew the identity of some of the machines in the customer’s office.
This customer almost placed an order until she realized the caller was from a different state and was not really their toner supplier.
They were going to charge her over $500 for one toner cartridge!
This is not a new story.
Unfortunately, toner pirates have been operating in the U.S. and Canada for many years.
Lately though, it appears the calls have increased and when I hear a story like this, I feel an obligation to make everyone aware of what could happen in any company doing business today.
3 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Fraudulent Telemarketers
- Make all of your employees aware of the possibility of getting a phone call from someone pretending to be “your local supplier.”
- Never place a supply order with someone over the phone unless you are sure who the caller is.
- Know the names of your current suppliers and circulate these names and phone numbers within your organization.
You can see more information about toner pirates on the BTA website