5 Tips For Avoiding Office Supply Scams

Office supply scams are on the increase, perhaps because they can generate good results for those that perpetrate them. Typically, an office supplies scam involves selling goods for higher than the going rate or deceptively gaining payment for products or services that were even required in the first place.


The following 5 tips will help you avoid getting scammed by an unscrupulous or fraudulent business or salesman –

1. Know your rights

Unsolicited goods and services do not need to be paid for. If you didn’t order goods or services, and the company doesn’t come to collect them, then don’t pay. Instead, your local laws may well allow you to keep them as a gift. If, however, a genuine mistake has been made with an order then of course work to resolve the issue.

2. Only have one contact

If you limit the number of people or departments that have responsibility for making purchases then you also minimise the risk of unauthorised employees being duped into making unwanted purchases.

3. Communicate

If you keep your staff well informed of the types of scams that may target your business, and how to deal with calls from salesmen, then you again will minimise the risk of one of them approving a fraudulent transaction to take place.

4. Read the fine print

Never make verbal agreements as they are only worth the paper they are written on. Instead, make and confirm all orders in print. Also, read the terms, conditions and any other fine print from anyone you do business with so as to avoid any unexpected surprises at a later date.

5. Report fraud

If you have fallen foul of an office supplies scam then inform the authorities so that they can deal with the fraudsters. Depending on the country you are in this could involve contacting the police, consumer protection agency, Attorney General or FTC.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. I see!! Thanks for clarifying! I was really having a hard time picturing people turning a profit with bogus pencil sharpeners, and staplers and such!


  2. Obviously the money isn’t in selling pens! One of the more lucrative scams involves scamming offices into paying for advertising in worthless or unwanted directories.

  3. Geez,

    You wouldn’t think there would be much money in office supplies!? Esp. with a scam. I work in an office environment and I have witnessed first hand how hard it is to get money from any kind of business. I guess if you figure out how to trick the person that authorizes the funds you could actually do pretty good??

    I haven’t heard of this one personally. But it is a fantastic word of caution to all.

    Thanks Scam

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