The Office Supply Scam

I recently had one of the best dealings with a scammer who called my office, and I can’t wait for the next in a line of the ten or twenty who have attempted, in vain, to rip my company off. It’s an old scam, as Snopes points out, where the caller phishes for information like names, copier info, including serial numbers, and the like. They are the dregs of the business world, and all of us should be aware of their ilk.

From the article:

What have come to be called “toner-phoners” usually start by calling and pretending to double-check a copier’s serial number, then offering to reduce a company’s toner supply at reduced rates. What ends up being shipped, of course, is horribly overpriced product of exceptionally poor quality.

In my line, what usually happens is they get the serial number, ship the appropraite substandard toner, and invoice the accounts payable department, which usually pays it based on  rote expectations.  Here’s what happened when I answered the phone.

“[Company Name], can I help you?”

“Hey, how ya doin? This is Mike from A. L. Industries, just checking in with you.”

“What was the name of the company?”

“A.L. Industries. And we’re updating our files here…”

“Ah, A.L. Industries… okay. (my best Jon Stewart impression) Go on.

“Uh, I think I’ll call back at another time.”

“You’d better not.”

“Oh I will!”

“You’d better not!”




If anyone is unaware of this, tell your friends and beef up on these guys. They are bottom-feeders.

(Image: the awesome Toshiba e-studio 520, a masterpiece of design and function.)


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