Office scam for supplies?

Office scam? There is a big market out there for office supplies. It ranges from toner supplies to advertising. Be wary of anyone offering you a "good deal" on office supplies.

There is a company called Express Transaction Services Inc. that was recently shut down in Quebec by the Canadian police. This company specializes in unauthorized invoices and phone calls.

The invoices are for paper for the Moneris machine. If you do get a delivery you did not request from a supplier then the best thing to do is to not accept the delivery. Return it to sender.

If you get a phone call asking for the machine number of the Moneris this should not be given out. Get a call number. There is no reason for anyone to be calling you to provide information on any of your office machines. The companies that lease the photocopies have a form you fill out for the current copy count. Do not respond to phone calls.

Express Transaction Services Inc. is now doing misleading telemarketing in British Columbia. If your staff does not have some training on how to deal with these types of calls then they can be fooled into making a purchase they should not.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has released information about how to deal with this type of situation. In what is called the “Pretender Scam,” the caller may pretend to be the business’ regular or previous supplier, a replacement, or an "authorized" supplier. This tactic is to give the person legitimacy.

The BBB advises that in one recent invoice scheme, a company called Express Transaction Services based in Montreal sent a B.C. business a supply order with an invoice for $250. The invoice had stated that the authorization was made by their receptionist. A call earlier that week asking for the receptionist’s name was treated as suspicious by the company, and was later confirmed when the invoice arrived. The company claims it had never placed an order with Express Transaction Services.

Another example is when a local company received a paper order without giving consent. The delivery of paper was not authorized, but again, some time before, the company received a call from a telemarketer asking for receptionist’s name.

Tips for avoiding business supply scams:

  • Take the time to train your staff. Limit the people who are authorized to make purchases and have all other employees direct calls to that department.
  • All offers for products need to be in writing.
  • Know who you are dealing with. If you don't know them then check out the BBB Reliability Report at www.mbc.bbb.org .
  • Keep a list of your preferred vendors. These are the people that you use on a regular basis. If someone calls up and says that they are a regular provider of services they will be on the list. If not, then it alerts you to a possible scam.
  • Did you know that if you receive supplies or bills for services you didn't order then don't pay. According to Canadian law, it is illegal for a seller to send bills or ask you to return unordered merchandise. For unordered merchandise, consider it a gift.
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