Signs You’re Getting Scammed By a Toner Pirate

Signs You're Getting Scammed By a Toner Pirate

How can you tell if your talking to a toner pirate?

  1. Typically they will make their first call to your office to ask for the model numbers of your copy and print equipment. Later, they will call back, appearing to have a knowledge of your company’s office equipment and supply needs. In many cases, they will pretend to be with the company you bought your office equipment from, making them seem trustworthy.
  2. A toner pirate will try to sound as official as possible, but if you question them or ask for more details, they can become impatient, pushy and rude.
  3. They will often tell you that you need to lock in your pricing today and try to pressure you into acting fast or committing to buy from them on the spot.
  4. Generally, they will try to sell toners for $400, $500 and sometimes even $600 each!

Important to Know: If used, toner supplied by a toner pirate may damage your equipment and void its warranty. Sometimes these scam artists will send you toners whether you ordered them or not and try to pressure you into paying for them.


How can I protect my company?

  1. Don’t get tricked. If you think you might be on the phone with a scammer, simply tell them that you will call them right back. Don’t call them back on a number they give you, instead call your equipment provider directly on their main line.
  2. Know your rights. If you receive supplies or bills for products you didn’t order, don’t pay, and don’t return the unordered merchandise. It is illegal for a seller to send you bills for unordered merchandise.
  3. Train your staff. It’s a good idea to train new and existing employees and volunteers on how to respond to telemarketers. Advise employees who are not authorized to order supplies and service to say, “I’m not authorized to place orders.” And have them avoid giving out the model numbers of your printing equipment over the phone.
  4. Only purchase from providers you know and trust. Authorized purchasers should be skeptical of “cold” or unsolicited calls and should not give out information on office equipment. They should feel comfortable saying “no” to high pressure sales tactics. Legitimate companies will probably not pressure you into making a snap decision.

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