[Libs-Or] office supply phone scam

Jim Knutson tintin at exchangenet.net
Mon Jan 24 14:49:23 PST 2011

Re: office supply phone scamI shared this with my wife, who orders office supplies --

She sez:

I've had sleezy calls like this before, too. They count on people not really knowing who their copy machine is leased from, etc.

They also call and tell you that the price of toner is going up, but if you order today, they can give you the old price. That doesn't really work when we get our toner free as part of our contract. :-) 

There are crooks born every minute!


On 1/24/11 2:25 PM, "Jim Knutson" <tintin at exchangenet.net> wrote:
  from Oregon library listserv (dunno if they'd ever go after someone like you at someplace like you're at):
  Today I received a call at the office which I suspect was from one of those companies that sends you stuff and then tells you that you ordered it but you know that you would never have placed such an order. So, I am sending this message out to you so you have a bit of a warning.
  I answered the phone and the guy wanted to speak to me about our photocopier.  
  He says: "I am calling about your copier and need to update our information. You just need to go look on the front of your copier and tell me the make and serial number."
  I paused for a couple of seconds (because I am a slow thinker) and was trying to figure out what this could possibly be about and then realized that he had not identified a company. 
  I said: "What is your company?"
  He said: "The main headquarters for your copier located in Virginia."
  I lease our copier and know the name of the bank carrying the lease (and where I pay the bills) and the company that arranged the lease and does the maintenance.  Neither is in Virginia. And, on top of that, I know the names and have spoken with the people associated with our copier and he was not one of them.
  I said: "Well, since you are not giving me a name of a company I assume you are not the company from which we lease our copier so I am now going to end this call."
  I had a staff member at the Siletz Library once answer a phone call that may have been similar to this one and the company sent the library 10 toner cartridges and an outrageous bill. It was not fun getting them sent back to the company. It was for the printer you are still using and I have only purchased about 4 toner cartridges for the machine.
  In other words, don't respond to this or any similar call. It is a scam! If you ever are in doubt or have even the slightest inkling that something just isn't quite right please refer them to me.and then let me know about the call. 

    I am not writing this to embarrass Kim because the companies making these calls are sleezy and really can sound convincing. However, Kim did  receive a call yesterday and gave out the information they requested.
    Here is some further guidance on how to handle what may happen  now.
    Your library may receive a second call to verify the order  and the address. Don't give them the address. Tell them that you do  not place orders and that all orders are place through the Lincoln County  Library District office and they will have to call me for any verification of  anything.
    If they send a package DO NOT except delivery if at all  possible. You don't get very many packages sent to you other than  McNaughtons so you will probably know that this is not a package that you  would normally get. If possible get the name and address of the  sender. That may not be possible but you can try.
    If the  toner gets delivered DO NOT use it. It could invalidate the maintenance  contract we have on the copier. Just send it to me.
    If you  get hassled about not paying bills or anything just tell them they need to  speak with me.
    Hey, things happen. We try to prevent them  from happening but when they do happen we move on. I am just so glad I  was told that it happened. It helps me give you guidance and develop a  plan for action.

    Office Supply Scams on the Rise

    An article from the Federal Trade Commission's  Website

    Has your business ever been targeted by an office supply scam?  Could it? Offi ce supply fraud costs its victims - large and small businesses,  as well as schools, government agencies, and nonprofit institutions - an  estimated $200 million per year. These scams generally involve the deceptive  sale of products that businesses purchase on a regular basis - like printer  paper, copy toner, light bulbs or cleaning materials.

    Some fraudulent telemarketers may lie to get your company to pay  for items it never ordered, or to pay more than it agreed to - often five to  10 times what the product or service is worth. Some callers pretend to be your  company's regular supplier or offer a "special deal" that they claim is "good  for a limited time only."

    The Federal Trade Commission urges employers to train their  employees. Visit 
    http://www.ftc.gov/boss for  more information on how to spot, stop and avoid office supply scams.  

    If you think you've been the victim of an office scam contact  the FTC at 877-FTC-IHELP.
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