Unsolicited office supplies scam

Video transcript: Unsolicited office supplies scam (Word, 25KB)

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How the scam works

This scam usually involves orders for office supplies such as stationery, printing and paper. The scammers:

  • charge you for goods you haven’t ordered or received, or
  • sell you inferior products at high prices.

There are several variations of this scam.

The scammer might pretend to be your regular supplier making a special offer, sometimes available for a short time only. They encourage you to pay upfront. When the delivery arrives, you find the products are overpriced, in poor condition or faulty.

Other times, the scammer will send you stationery that your business has not ordered, and then charge you for it.

The scam works because many small businesses do not have clear procedures for ordering supplies, and allow several employees to place orders. This makes it hard to confirm who ordered what; instead of investigating, the business pays for the order.

Protect your business:

  • Beware of anyone who calls on behalf of your normal stationery supplier and offers you a deal. Ask to speak to your normal sales rep or call them back using a phone number you know is correct.
  • Check you have actually ordered the stationery. Ask for proof of purchase.
  • Carefully check your order before paying and send back any stationery that you have not ordered.

Last updated: 12/09/2016

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