Beware of callers selling toner: It could be the Grinch ... or a toner scammer!

​Tis the season to be jolly ... So don’t be a victim of toner folly.

If someone calls your office trying to sell you toner, they are scammers trying to sell you an inferior product at an exorbitant price.

Like how the Grinch is to presents and Christmas, these callers are to your cash, and for this time of year, your Christmas cheer — because nobody is happy when they find out they’ve been duped.

Toner phoners are real!

A few days ago, an employee for one of our clients in Oklahoma City contacted us through our website,  Jenny, the employee, reported she had received a call from a man claiming to be her Ricoh representative and to be with R.K. Black. She said after he “rattled off some toner price increase” and she refused him, telling him she didn’t need any toner, the conversation ended quickly.

“I wasn't sure if this was a legit call or not but I feel like it was not,” Jenny said, explaining she had initially became suspicious with the caller as he kept referring to the R.K. Black service technician as a him when her company had had a female technician all year.

“Anyway, I just thought I would reach out and see if it was a legit call or not. I'm sure my refusal of the toner did the trick either way,” she wrote.

You are correct, Jenny. The call was not legit. And great job on not letting the Grinch dupe you!

Image of office worker holding phone receiving phone call from the Grinch or toner phone scammer.

So how do you know a toner Grinch when he calls?

No, the caller won't have a voice that sounds like a growly Jim Carrey. Nor will your caller ID display the image of a disgruntled-looking creature made of matted green fur. Rather, the scammer will call implying they are from our company (or whoever provides your office technology) or from your copier's manufacturer and will say toner prices are getting ready to jump due to some fabricated disaster or shortage. They then will urge you to avoid those high prices, you should BUY NOW.

Sounds like Jenny's story, right?

Also, don't be surprised if the caller names names or mentions key members of your staff. In fact, expect it! The caller has likely done their research, searching your company and it's employees online. DON'T BUY IT! — figuratively and literally!

What to do about toner phoners

Now that you know what these toner scammers sound like, here are three actions you can take against them:

  • Educate your office about these scams so that like this client, they will recognize something fishy when they see it.
  • If you get such a toner scam call, ask the caller for a phone number by which to call them back. This typically results in belligerence (kinda like a Grinch) or you'll hear the quick click of the phone on other end being hung up.
  • If you receive toner to your office and you aren’t familiar with it or company sending it, don’t pay for it. Rather, call the company and tell them to pick it up. You can also reach out to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission for further help.

​We've got you covered

But just so you know, as a practice, our company does not call our clients to sell toner as most of our service contracts include toner as part of the “cost per click” charge. As such, we will replace the toner as it is needed making it unnecessary for us to call you.

Photo of RK Black service technician (Santa) carrying copier toner

And of course, if you need toner, just give us a call and we will send Santa or one of our elves to bring it to you — kinda like this guy in the picture above.

​Until then, may your Christmas be merry and white, but when it comes to toner calls, may you be wary and wise. Happy Holiday's

About R.K. Black, Inc.

R.K. Black, Inc. is an Oklahoma City-based, family-owned leading provider of office technology solutions to small and medium-sized businesses in Oklahoma and Kansas. We specialize in everything business technology from copier, fax, printer and scanner technology to document management, onsite paper shredding services, VoIP phone systems and managed IT support to video surveillance solutions.

If you want to learn more about us, feel free to explore the website, read our other blogs or click the button below to be contacted by one of our reps and tell you! Also, be sure to keep watching our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter for more business tips from our blog.