What Exactly is a Toner Pirate?

Male image of a scammer making a phone call

Toner pirates cost businesses thousands of dollars each year. Is your business one of them? Don’t fret. In this blog, you will learn what a toner pirate is and how to avoid being a victim of toner pirates. But before we do, first things first:

What is a Toner Pirate? 

A toner pirate is a scammer who usually misleads unsuspecting office staff into receiving replacement toners for copy or printer machines. They will then issue a fraudulent invoice to your company, and ask you to pay it. But before this, these swindlers will start by calling you to confirm certain information. For instance, they may ask a model of your machine, a serial number, and other similar information. Toner pirates know that you have to replace toners routinely, so they use that as an opportunity to scam you. 

Types of Common Toner Pirate Tactics

1. Information soliciting call

The scammer will call you to gather information about your copy or printer machine. To ensure that you don't suspect that something is amiss, he will pretend to conduct a survey.

Typical questions a toner pirate will use include:

  • Who is your toner supplier?
  • What is the name of the person responsible for ordering? 
  • What is the serial number of your machine?

2. The Urgency Phone Call

Once these swindlers have all the information they want, they will follow up with a ‘pressure call'. During this call, they will use the name of a legitimate company. They will also cite the information they gathered in the previous phone call. From there, cite a price increase on your toner and ask you to pay immediately. If you don’t pay soon, you will pay more, they will say.

3. A fraudulent invoice

Once you have agreed to receive the order for toner from them, the scammers will proceed to send a legitimate-looking invoice. They know that tracking this will be time-consuming and complex for most staff members. 

Here is how you should avoid being a victim of toner pirates: 

  • Never give the serial number of your machines over the phone.
  • Avoid conducting surveys with people that sound suspicious.
  • Ask them for their number or location. Most of them won’t be willing to provide it to you.
  • Call your vendor immediately to verify if the caller was from them.
  • Request their email address and compare it with your vendor's.
  • Never approve of paying for toners that you didn’t order. 

Reach out to the experts at Da-Com Digital Office Solutions, and find out how we will end toner pirates for you! 

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