University Of Vermont


  Scam | Office Supply Scheme

Every year, thousands of companies get fooled into buying "bargain" photocopier/fax toner, office supplies or directories over the phone. The sales person claims it's a "special offer", or "prices will be going up soon" and you have to buy today.

But if you check the bill when it arrives, it's not a bargain at all. The price may be 50% - 300% higher than usual. And worst of all, you may have bought substandard product.

Does your office staff know these warning signs? Here are some common approaches used by telemarketers to trick people over the phone. Be sure all your staff is aware of these schemes and that they know how to respond to them.

  1. Someone calls from a "Market Research Company" and asks for the make and model of your office equipment. Don't give out this information over the phone. Your authorized dealer already has this on record. This is a typical "set up call" for the sales pitch which typically follows
  2. Someone calls and offers an incredible deal on toner, cartridges, paper or other office supplies, but you must act now to take advantage of the special prices.Don't buy anything over the phone. Ask for their company name, the person's name, and the phone number, so you can call them back to confirm that they are a legitimate office supply dealer.
  3. You unexpectedly receive supplies or a directory that you didn't order. Immediately contact the distributor. Advise them that you are not accepting the goods, you will not pay for them, and want them removed at their expense.