MFP & printer toner pirates are still active in Burlington. Another client dodges a bullet.
A few weeks ago we posted a blog post outlining the details of a scam which was avoided by one of our client's branch office when they were approached by a California based toner pirate. In the instance we outlined they could have been hit for almost $500 in purchases that they did not need.
We were just notified by another client that one of their local branches here in Burlington just about got caught with a similar approach for an out of town toner scam. In this case the local administrator actually responded to the solicitation, but realized they should not have and refused to accept the order. They were successful in getting the order canceled and again there was no loss.
This just underlines how aggressive these very sophisticated operations can be and they obviously make money selling product to unwitting companies.
More than just toner.
One of the important considerations is that these kinds of scams are not run just for copier and printer toner.
The CFO of our first client sent a notice out to all of his branches advising them of all of the products that they purchase centrally on behalf of their branches that should not be bought from local soliticitation. The list was extensive: MFP and printer toner, paper, cleaning supplies, most office supplies, packaging equipment and supplies....and the list can go on based upon what your business acquires.
Does this issue only apply to multiple site organizations?
Definately not. The solicitation business can attack any size of organization. Often for things like bogus directory listings, online directories which no one searches...and all of the items listed above. The people on the front line in a business need to be informed how your business acquires these products and who is the decision maker that should be contacted
prior to any purchase.
Why is it not done?
It seems petty to tell your front line people they are not authorized to sign contracts, place orders, respond to well meaning solicitations (as they see it). Take the time to show them this blog and the one referenced above...and show how a company could lose hundreds and even thousands of dollars through a simple solicitation like this. Remind them these are well rehearsed experienced solicitations designed to take advantage of people so being cautious is not something to be ashamed of.
Make sure they understand you are not questioning their integrity, only protecting them from very sophisticated, well trained, unscrupulous pirates....Stay Alert!
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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons Villy Fink Isaksen