Category: Pay For

Office Supplies Scams

Office supplies is big business and virtually every business needs to buy such supplies, so a lot of scammers target this.  The most common such scams are:

  1. Fake Invoices

You might get an invoice that appears genuine and is for a modest amount of money but is entirely fake. The scammer relies on people being too busy to check thoroughly to ensure every invoice is correct.

Or you get a genuine invoice, but the costs have been inflated – extra items charged that weren’t delivered or just higher prices for some items.

To make the invoice look genuine, these scammers often phone the company and ask who deals with invoices then use that name on the fake invoice.

Sometimes, the scammers send the merchandise and then the fake invoice weeks later so the company has to go to the trouble of trying to return the goods and prove they didn’t order them and it’s possible the company will have started using the supplies so is unable to return them in good condition.

2. Fake Rep

A scammer checks who your regular suppliers are (a simple fake sales call will usually get that information) and then calls pretending to be a new representative of one of those suppliers. This leads in time to fake invoices and potentially direct payments before the company realise they are not dealing with the correct company.

If a specific price is asked for, the scammer will give a quote that sounds reasonable for the entire quantity being ordered but is actually the price for a single unit of that supply. The difference only becomes apparent after the order has been delivered and the invoice received.

They may claim  that they are sending you a promotional catalogue, but they’re really trying to get personal information to bill you for unnecessary services and supplies.

3. The False Gift

The office worker receives what appear to be a free gift – generally low value items such as pens, calendars, coffee mugs etc. Some time later invoices at very inflated prices arrive and specify the deliveries. This causes problems as the company has received the items but never authorised purchases and may end up paying to get rid of the problem.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Pay To Give a Presentation

Normally, people are paid to give presentations – not the other way around, especially at conferences.

An email from which belongs to UBM who are organising the Technology for Marketing conference in London.

The email is about a Call for Papers – they want people to present papers in areas to do with use of technology in Marketing.

They want

  • Case studies on multi channel approaches
  • The competitive edge of personalisation
  • Leadership in the modern age
  • How content can transform the brand story

And so on.

This all sounds reasonable.

The bottom of the email states “Please note that submissions from suppliers may be liable to a fee if entry is successful”

It sounds mean to charge people for giving a presentation but maybe it’s just a catchall statement and they reserve the right to charge if a supplier is basically giving a sales pitch rather than just a presentation.

That’s the world of Marketing.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

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