Beware of Toner Pirates

What is a Toner Pirate? A toner pirate is a scam artist who calls businesses trapping them into buying toners and inks. They trick unaware companies into giving them information about their copiers and printers. One scheme that toner pirates often use is calling and claiming to be someone from your current copier company. They will say that the price of toner is getting ready to go up and they are offering you toner at a discounted price as a loyal customer. Remember, they may have already called and gotten information about your equipment so they are able to make their statements very believable. After they receive your toner order, you will receive a shipment of toner and an outrageous bill. In some cases we have seen companies receive toner (and the bill) just because someone has given them information over the phone but did not consent to order any toner.


When the Toner Pirates have your equipment information they have the advantage. If you did not initiate the call, call Barlop Business Systems and question it. We will always check our records and let you know if we indeed sent the toner or if it was Toner Pirates so you can send the toner back!

There are some things you can do to ensure that your company is not a victim of Toner Pirates:


  • If the caller is truly your equipment company, they will have your information.

  • Never place an order over the phone unless you initiate the call. Ask for a call back number. They will hang up.

  • Beware of terms such as: Beat the price increase; Last remaining stock; Offer expiring today Ask for company references. They will hang up.

  • Designate someone within the company/department to handle all matters regarding your equipment or supply ordering.

  • Inform everyone who answers the phone within your company about Toner Pirates and what to look for. Most businesses have equipment contracts that include the toner at no additional charge.


  • If the order has already been accepted, DO NOT USE THE TONER. Send the shipper a letter stating that there is no valid proof of the order and that the shipment will be disposed of in 30 days if the merchandise is not recovered and that you invalidate any claim that you accepted an offer of sale by keeping the shipment. Send this letter registered/certified mail with return receipt requested.

  • DO NOT PAY AN INVOICE FOR UNAUTHORIZED SHIPMENTS. If the shipping company does not respond to your certified letter within 30 days, notify the Better Business Bureau in your area.

  • Contact your equipment dealer and advise them of the Toner Pirate scam in your area. These companies use auto-dial systems to call business numbers in sequence. If you’ve received a call, the following numbers in the series will receive a call as well. Your equipment dealer will put other customers on alert.

For more information on Toner Pirates call Barlop Business Systems 305.594.0470 or email