The Office Supplies Scam

This scam involves duping a new or inexperienced office employee into purchasing unwanted office supplies at over the top prices.

The usual way for this scam to be run is as follows –

The scamming company will call a firm in the hope of catching someone off guard.

They will just make general enquiries without any sales pressure, in order to discover what sort of products you are buying and who usually deals with such purchases.

Next, they will either send an invoice for related products that have never been sent or will actually send such goods, addressed to whomever they have identified as being responsible for purchasing.

Lastly, they will then invoice you for such goods, even going to the point of threatening court action should you refuse to pay.

Sounds rather easy for them to set this up and get away with it doesn’t it?

Well, yes, it can be easy money for these types of scammers as most firms will happily pay them off rather than deal with the hassle or risk court action, even if they didn’t want the goods in the first place.

It is rather simple to protect yourself from though –

  • One person should be made responsible for this type of purchase and all staff should be trained to pass all such enquiries to them.
  • Employees should be aware of how to recognise unusual invoices, especially those for which they are not aware of the goods or services being received.
  • Remember the law is on your side – in the UK, we have the Unsolicited Goods & Service Act – if you receive something you didn’t ask for then the sender has 6 months to collect at their expense or legal title passes to you!
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 had a determined company keep calling my office asking for a payment for an entry in their business directory. As I never asked for a listing I told them to sling their hooks but they keep on phoning.

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