Phoner Toner Scam
Here at ABS, today started like any other day. However, as the morning wore on, it became clear to us that there was a crisis at hand. One of our valued customers delivered very disturbing news that they wanted to share with us. It had come to the attention of our customer, that for the last year & a half, they were paying two companies on the west coast for supplies they did not need. They had in their possession several dozen boxes of toner, and over time they had been billed for over $40,000.
You may ask yourself, how can something like this happen? It’s a very simple mistake that can affect any small business.Since the customer was due to receive supplies every month, they assumed these deliveries were from Xerox. Unfortunately, this toner scam has been around for decades, and all these unscrupulous individuals need, is basic information about your staff and the supplies used in your office.The numbers vary on how much these scams cost businesses, but it's in the millions
Our client had been told by these companies that they were going to be sent to a collection agency if they didn't pay the next month’s invoice. The scam artists also had the name of the person in charge of accounts payable & operations. They also were sending this company the right toner for the model they currently used. It isn't clear how these scamming agencies got a hold of this particular customer’s information, but from what we have found, there are a various ways scammers can pull you into their fraudulent web of deceit.
How do these scam artists operate?
1. False Invoice: A scammer will call your office to find the name of the person in charge of supplies & their company address. The invoices are often 5 -10x higher than the actual price. In turn customers will pay for unordered supplies.
2. False Supplier: These individuals will present themselves as your supplies provider.
3. Free Gift: A caller will try to convince the employee on the phone that they are receiving a free gift, but along with that free gift comes an unordered arsenal of supplies.
How can you protect yourself?
1. Teach fellow co-workers & employees to never provide your copier/printer’s serial number. A scammer will realize through this serial number, what kind of unit you own.
2. If we at ABS call you, we will never ask you for your serial number.
3. Know that as a customer, your supplies are all included in your monthly contract. We do not have any affiliated supply companies. These scammers began to send our customer toners that stated they were supplies from Xerox.
4. If you ever do receive toner unexpectedly, do not hesitate to contact us at ABS.
Although, it was a horrible experience for our customers. It was a lesson learned for both our customers and us as a team. It’s an experience that hopefully provides you with some education.
If you ever have any more questions, please feel free to contact us at 203-777-0011 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.