Don’t Let your Business Fall Victim to Toner Pirates


Falling victim

We recently received a phone call from a client and we are so glad they called. Our client was contacted by someone portraying themselves as BrockOA and tried to convince them to order toner. It wasn’t us, it was a toner pirate. We were happy to be able to help our client avoid what could have been an costly and upsetting situation.


What are toner pirates?

Toner pirates are scams who try to trick companies into giving out information about their copier. They use high pressure tactics and trick you into thinking you are dealing with your office equipment dealer — as happened to our client. They may even call several times to gather information from you, bit by bit.

They will offer you toners at a cheap price or may claim that the price of your toner is going up or being discontinued. Unfortunately, use of these toners can severely damage your copier and void your warranty and service plan. These toner pirates will likely have already called your office a few times to get information about your office equipment, so they may seem knowledgeable about your office and devices. You may also receive phone calls stating that you need an updated service manual but that they need to know the model of your copier and printer. Remember, you purchased your devices from your dealer, they know what you have. Before you give anyone any information about your photocopier, multifunctional printer, fax or other device, ask for a phone number to call back to confirm you really are talking to a representative from your office automation dealer.


How to tell if you are dealing with a toner pirate

The first step in avoiding the scam is to know exactly what you are looking for in a call from a toner pirate. look for these telltale signs that you are not speaking with your office equipment dealer:

  • They typically use high pressure sales tactics
  • They cannot provide references
  • They charge handling/processing fees
  • The do not offer a way to call them back
  • They will use terms such as:
    • “Beat the price increase”
    • “Last remaining stock”
    • “Offer expiring today”
    • “Your current toner is being discontinued”


How to protect your business against toner pirates

The first step to protecting yourself is to be knowledgeable and to train your staff about the scam. Toner pirates will try to talk to people who are unfamiliar with the equipment and your dealer, so make sure everyone on staff knows who your provider is. If anyone in your office is unfamiliar with your equipment or procedures, train them on the basics. And the go to answer when the pirate tries to get information from the wrong person: “I’m sorry, but I am not authorized to order supplies for our equipment. You will have to speak to our office manager.”

Keep in mind that your service contract usually falls under the terms of a cost per copy payment. That means the toner is usually included in that cost, unless another agreement has been made. Your dealer shouldn’t be calling for toner purchase and you shouldn’t be paying extra for it. It is included in your contract. BrockOA waits until you call us. Of course, we do call periodically for meter reads or information to update our files, but we would never ask for model information.

More steps to protect yourself again toner pirates include:

  • Only doing business with reputable dealers
  • Knowing your contact person for the supply/service company
  • Never sign for and accept a shipment you did not order
  • Remeber: Buyer Beware — If it seems too good to be true, it is


At BrockOA, we work with you to provide you with everything you need to make you business life better. Unfortunately, we cannot be held responsible for toner and supplies purchased from a third party, so we want to make sure to keep you safe from scams like this. If you are ever unsure about a phone call about supplies, call us immediately. We can let you know if we were really calling or if you have been dealing with a toner pirate. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry — never provide information to anyone over the phone about your equipment unless you are 100% positive you are speaking with your office equipment dealer.



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