Unsolicited Vendor Calls and Potential Scams

From time to time, the market is flooded with numerous phone calls from telephone solicitors who fraudulently offer supply items such as pens, ribbons and toner and developer for printers and photocopy machines. These solicitors use a wide range of deceptive and misleading tactics to make sales or send merchandise that is misrepresented, unauthorized, or unordered. If the telephone solicitor is unwilling to confirm the offer in writing, you can usually be assured that the offer is questionable.

There are also several companies sending out what appears to be an invoice for employment advertising, extended warranties, etc. It looks legitimate, but in small print are the words, "This is not a bill." This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept the offer.

Other tactics include:

  1. Preferring to talk to an employee unfamiliar with procurement rather than authorized OPS personnel.
  2. Frequently making reference to a local dealer or manufacturer such as XEROX or Toshiba, giving the impression that they are your regular supplier or representative.
  3. Pretending to be conducting a survey to find out what office equipment (especially photocopiers and printers) you have and to verify your address so they can call you back posing as your authorized dealer to sell you supplies.
  4. Claiming prices are going up and encouraging you to place your order immediately to get the lowest price.
  5. Offering free gifts that may or may not ever show up.
  6. Pressuring you to make payments on an AU One Card.

What Can You Do?

  1. Remember that your contract suppliers wait until YOU place an order with them; they do not call you for an order.
  2. Do not accept supplies you did not order.
  3. If you receive an invoice for something you know you did not order, take the time to look at the invoice carefully.
  4. Alert the personnel in your office who answer incoming calls or who pays the bills.
  5. Transfer the call to Procurement (ext. 2698), and we will handle the call appropriately.
  6. Contact Procurement immediately if you receive anything that appears suspicious.