Toner Pirates | Business Tips with Brad

What are Toner Pirates?

Toner Pirates are the industry term for a scam that could cost your business in a big way!  

Toner pirates are scammers that seek out businesses who may have separate individuals managing supply ordering and accounts payable.   The larger the organization the more at risk they may be to the scam.

How do Toner Pirates operate?

Toner pirates operate in a few potential manners.  In one scenario, they may send your business toner that you didn’t order and most likely wasn’t a part of your original service agreement.  Toner pirates aren’t usually associated with the company that manages your service agreement, and the shipments aren’t meant to be included.  However, once someone in your organization has accepted delivery, your organization is “liable” for the cost of that toner, and will receive a highly inflated invoice for that the shipment. Toner Pirates win.

In another scenario, Toner Pirates don’t even send a shipment of toner, they just send the invoice.  In organizations where communication isn’t always clear, the accounts payable team will go ahead and pay the invoice.  Toner Pirates win again.

How can you stop Toner Pirates scams?

The truth is, the Toner Pirate scam isn’t new.  It isn’t even exclusive to toner.  It happens to organizations of all sizes.  With teams working remotely and social distancing adding another layer of communications challenges to teams, scam activity is up.

What out for suspicious discovery calls!

Toner pirates will typically call first to determine the make and model of the copier equipment in your office.  They may sound like they’re looking for information to follow up on copier repairs, they’re not.  They’ll ask very specific information about the machines you have.  The company that does your servicing, especially the team in ABPs copier service department, already know your information.  They won’t be sending anything to be charged outside of the service agreement.

Communicate with your team!

So many situations can be avoided with good, consistent record keeping and a bit of communication.  Look out for suspicious shipments.  Refuse suspicious shipments and talk to the team members who may be asked to sign for shipments and let them know the scammers they may be exposed to.

It may also help to communicate any suspicious calls, as an alert to begin the look out for suspicious packages.

If your team does accidentally take the toner shipment, immediately contact the team at ABT for next steps.  Don’t make the payment.  Contact the scammers and let them figure out how to get their toner shipment back.

Let the team at ABT be a resource to you!

Whether your office equipment is serviced by ABP or not, we are always happy to help you navigate any questionable activity.  We’re here for you, serving all of Colorado with offices in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

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