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Office supply scams

It happens when someone calls to sell expensive office supplies at a discounted rate. It is called the toner scheme, where the business gets requests from the sales representatives of a supplier, who contact the firm to know about the models and copiers they use. 

They gather the data and place requests or orders. The representative poses as the seller and tells them they will increase the product prices, but it can be delivered at a lower current rate if you order now. Often, the supplies are of low quality and may not meet the firm's requirements.

There are other scams where the caller claims to confirm an existing order, call to verify the order, or offer a free catalogue as a sample to the victim. Then unordered products are delivered to the business owners who may refuse to pay for them, but the seller says he has an audio recording to prove you requested the order, and they put pressure to get payment for the supplies. 

To prove the order was requested and show they agreed to the goods, they send the birthdate of the owners, but in reality, the buyer is conned into spending on worthless products as the scammers insist on payment. Finally, they send an invoice where the user gets the total and the discounted bills. 

If the business sends the payment for the bogus invoice, they will send more merchandise of the same quality with more bills, which they may send from a different firm. Nevertheless, it will be originally from the same organisation. 

How To Protect Yourself?

  • Do not pay for the merchandise you did not order. If you get the products, do not pay for them as the law supports the buyers that if no one ordered, the customer is not liable to send the items back, and the vendors cannot collect them without permission. Therefore, you need not pay even if you used the unordered merchandise. 

  • Educate the staff and ask them to block messages from fake callers who claim they are doing business with you. 

  • They sometimes claim it is urgent, and you need to speak to them to avoid a loss, or they may call someone in a certain department to respond immediately. The staff should know the address and other details of the authentic suppliers to reject such calls. 

  • An employee can be assigned to handle a bogus call from a supplier who gives free offers or pretends to be responding against existing orders. 

  • Carefully examine all the invoices and details of the statements of the bills of the products you order to avoid paying for unordered ones.

Date Published: Sep 14, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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