The following information was released by Assemblyman Jim Silva.
A scammer tricks your business into purchasing office supplies that it didn’t order. This scam can take a number of different forms:
- A scam artist gets the name and address of an employee so your organization can be shipped and billed for unordered goods or services – often at 10 times what you would pay for the same goods from a legitimate supplier.
- A scam artist who pretends to be your regular or previous supplier, a replacement, or an “authorized” supplier, tells you “the price is the same as last time,” but doesn’t quote a price.
- A scam artist quotes a price that sounds reasonable for one carton but is actually for a single unit, such as “$19.95 in a carton of 10.” Translation: The carton price is 10 times $19.95-or $199.50.
- A scam artist misrepresents the quality, quantity, type, price, or brand name of the product being sold.
- A scam artist uses high pressure tactics to rush your purchase decision and dodge questions about price, quantity, and brand name.
- A scam artist falsely claims that prices are going up soon, someone was forced out of business, a warehouse is overstocked, or a limited inventory of government surplus is available.
- A scam artist claims that a computer “glitch” delayed notification of a price increase, but, as a courtesy, an order has been reserved for you at the “regular” or “old” price.
- A scam artist tricks an employee into accepting a promotional item after only a passing reference to merchandise. The scammer then ships and bills for the merchandise.
When an organization complains that it didn’t order the merchandise or services or that the price is too high, the scam artist may:
- Bully the organization into paying for the unordered merchandise, sometimes threatening court action;
- Negotiate with the organization and agree to accept a lower price for the unordered merchandise;
- Agree to allow the organization to return the merchandise, but charge a restocking fee often more than the goods are worth.
To protect your business:
- Know your rights. You may be able to consider unordered merchandise a gift.
Assign designated office supply buyers and document your purchases.
Check all purchase documentation before you pay bills.
- Train staff.
- Report fraud.
- Assemblyman Jim Silva votes against Democrate-proposed 2012-2013 California state budget (oc-breeze.com)
- Beef Palance named 2012 Small Business of the Year (oc-breeze.com)
- Assemblyman Silva names Dianna Gadberry as Woman of the Year (oc-breeze.com)
- Assemblyman Silva responds to Governor Brown’s revised budget (oc-breeze.com)
- Silva-sponsored bill to eliminate possible fraud within In-Home Support Services defeated (oc-breeze.com)