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.
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.