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Be on the lookout

Don't fall for the toner scam. "Toner Pirates" represent companies that call unsuspecting businesses and attempt to sell printer toner or ink cartridges over the phone using high pressure tactics. Usually Toner Pirates claim to be calling from your "supplier"—they might say they are from "Sharp" or "Chattanooga Business Machines."

Please be aware of our policy: If you HAVE a service contract with us, all toner is included. If you DO NOT have a service contract, we are happy to sell you toner, but you must call us—we never call customers to sell toner.

What can you do to not get taken by toner pirates or other office supply vendors? We suggest you have one individual in charge of supply orders. Advise your receptionist, office manager or purchaser not to divulge this individual's name. Make sure your office personnel understand your purchasing policy and are aware that only designated persons may authorize delivery.

Get the specifics—if they claim they are a current supplier, ask them for your account number or maintenance agreement number. Also, ask for a name, company name and phone number. Don't pay bills unless they match your documentation.

NEVER give office equipment models and serial numbers over the phone—toner pirates will use this information later to convince someone at your company they are legitimate.

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