The dangers of toner scams

The dangers of toner scams

For many organizations, basic printer supplies like ink and toner are integral to daily operations. Unfortunately, some scammers have found a way to exploit this business essential for their own gain. Known as toner scams, these schemes are becoming increasingly common and have the potential to cost companies a great deal of money and headaches.

What are toner scams?

Toner scams are a type of fraud that involves convincing unsuspecting organizations to purchase counterfeit or otherwise inferior printer supplies, usually at an exorbitant price. Scammers can be very convincing, often using deceptive tactics like pretending to be a legitimate supplier or offering “special deals” that are too good to be true.

In other cases, fraudsters may simply send the organization an invoice for supplies that the latter didn’t order, threatening legal action if payment isn’t made.

What are the different types of toner scams?

Toner scams can take a variety of forms, but they all have the same goal of defrauding companies out of their money. Some of the most common types of toner scams include:


Oftentimes, scammers will carry out phishing attacks to gather intel about their target company before committing fraud. These tactics involve using emails, texts, or other methods to prompt the organization to provide valuable data like contact details, payment methods, and more.

In the case of toner scams, fraudsters may ask about a company's printer models, current vendor contracts, and other information that they can use to create a convincing sales pitch.

Cold calling

In this type of scam, fraudsters call and attempt to sell cartridges that are either counterfeit or of very poor quality. They often try to pressure their victims into making a purchase, claiming that the deal will expire soon or offering discounts that don't actually exist. They may even offer to send a technician to install the cartridges for free, which is usually just a ploy to get their foot in the door.


Once a company has purchased toner cartridges, scammers may then proceed to overcharge them for the supplies they received. This is often done by tacking on hidden fees or jacking up the price for “special” services.

Fake invoicing

Scammers may send invoices to companies for toner supplies that were never ordered. These fraudulent bills can be difficult to spot, as they often use the same layout as legitimate invoices. And with the information gathered from phishing attacks, the scammer can make their invoices look even more authentic.

How can you protect your business from toner scams?

The best way to protect your business from toner scams is to be vigilant. Here are some tips to help you steer clear of these schemes:

  • Do your research. Before entering into any business relationship, make sure to do your homework. Find out as much as you can about the supplier to check if they’re legitimate.
  • Be wary of cold calls. If you receive any unsolicited calls offering toner cartridges, be cautious. Ask for as much information as you can get and always verify the details before agreeing to any deal.
  • Check invoices carefully. If you receive an invoice for toner supplies, take the time to review it closely. Look for any discrepancies and confirm that the order was placed by your company.
  • Invest in quality supplies. To avoid the risk of having to pay for inferior or counterfeit toner cartridges, opt for high-quality products from reputable suppliers.
  • Partner with a reliable managed print services (MPS) provider. An MPS provider can help you manage your printer fleet and ensure that you’re using genuine supplies. They can also provide valuable support in detecting and avoiding toner scams.

Don’t let your business fall prey to these fraudulent schemes. Being aware of the common tactics used by scammers and taking proactive steps to safeguard your organization can help you avoid becoming a victim of toner scams.

Complete Document Solutions can provide you with quality toner supplies and managed print services to ensure that your organization avoids the risks of toner scams. Contact us today for more information.

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