Your BBB® would like to warn consumers about a scam that’s been targeting both individuals and companies: the office supply scam. Vendors will drop off office supplies at your location and send you a bill. If this happens to you be aware that steps can be taken to protect yourself.
Finding unordered items on the doorstep isn’t your fault. Legally, you don’t have to return the package and the vendor can’t press charges to repossess the package. The item doesn’t have to be paid for, even if it was used prior to realizing that the company/customer hadn’t ordered it.
Your best defense is a trained staff.
Take the time to speak to staff about the worries of a potential supply scam. A tell-tale warning sign is the phony callers claiming to have done business with you in the past or who have an ‘urgent’ need to speak to someone in your department. On top of educating the staff, placing a warning near the phone for those who frequently pick up calls is a good way to prevent mistakes. Dealing with nonprofit volunteers is another essential task, and be sure to warn them of scammers who target charities, churches, and community groups.
Instead of having a plethora of people who answer questions about supplies, have a single contact who focuses on answering questions about office supplies, existing or free offers. Having a consolidated contact person for supplies prevents falling for scams.
Investigate every invoice.
Fraudulent callers may come across extremely pushy, and if the caller claims that your business has paid for something, don’t believe it. Take caution to ensure that the staff member in charge of your company’s supplies has authorized this purchase prior to giving payment information. When worried about a pushy caller, contact the FTC, your BBB and the Attorney General to remain on top of the issue.
Take advantage of the new resources the FTC has available. Don’t hesitate to seek help when worried that a scammer may have harmed your business.
Report your experience to bbb.org/Scamtracker!
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/Evansville!