Reminder: Beware of Toner Pirates

“We’ve had people calling us and they give their first name and nothing else, then say they are calling to check on a toner order and ask for the make and model number of our machines. Luckily, our staff are aware of our relationships with local businesses and we don’t purchase from outside companies much. When we asked who they were calling on behalf of, they immediately hung up.”
–A local Century customer’s report of a Toner Pirate call

Guess what? Toner pirates are REAL! Lately we have received multiple reports of Toner Pirates soliciting our customers over the phone. Century has had Toner Pirate calls placed to our own phone lines in recent weeks. Yes, toner pirates even try to scam us!

What does this mean for you? As part of our commitment to educating you on the happenings of the office equipment industry, we wanted to again make you aware of the presence of Toner Pirates in our area and provide some tips on how to protect your company from the scam.

A day in the life of a Toner Pirate

Toner pirates typically work in stages. First, they will call companies and ask for the name of the person responsible for ordering toner and for verification on the make, model, and number of devices in your facility. This is the information gathering stage.

Next, they will call pretending to be the servicing company (i.e. Century), and, using the information gathered in Stage 1, will offer “special deals” on toner prices before they drastically increase in price! Once you to agree to order the toner, you’ve officially been scammed! While you may receive the toner, you may be invoiced for a much higher price or receive toner that does not meet the quality you’d expect from a trusted dealer.

Follow these steps to avoid Toner Pirate scams

  • Ask who is calling. They will likely hang up if they believe they have been identified as a pirate.
  • Warn staff to never give out information about your office equipment. It may seem silly until you end up with a massive amount of poor quality, expensive toner!
  • Educate staff on how to order toner through the approved dealer. It is recommended that one person be responsible for ordering toner.
  • Check for fraudulent invoices. If you did not order the toner, box it up and return to sender! Do not pay the invoice!
  • Forward this message to your coworkers! The more employees that are aware of the threat of Toner Pirates, the less likely your company will fall victim.

Once again, Century will never call you with expiring “deals” on toner. We know what products you have, and we likely have a record of the person responsible for ordering supplies. Many of our customers carry service contracts, and the price of toner is already calculated into the contract.

Have you ever received a call from a Toner Pirate? Please contact us with questions, concerns, or your own experiences with Toner Pirates. We appreciate hearing about your experiences so that we can better prepare our customers for these scams.