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 user 2005-06-27 at 12:44:00 pm Views: 75
  • #11724

     Lansing imaging business battles identity theft, toner scam

    What do you get when you cross the notorious “Toner Phoner Scam” with identity theft?

    A big image problem for Capital Imaging of Lansing.

    In need of some quick damage control, Bo Noles, president of the company, asked me to get the word out:

    Those rude phone calls? Those office supplies that are paid for but never delivered? Don’t blame Capital Imaging; blame the con artists pretending to be Capital Imaging.

    Noles’ first inkling that his company’s reputation was in peril came a few months ago when he got a disconcerting e-mail from a customer.

    The customer com-plained that a Capital Imaging sales representative treated him badly, and he said he would no longer do business with Capital.

    Noles contacted the customer and assured him that Capital doesn’t conduct its business that way.

    Assuming it was an isolated misunderstanding, Noles put the incident behind him.

    Pattern of abuse

    But last week, Lansing police officers went to Noles’ office to ask him about all the complaints they had logged regarding Capital’s technique of selling office machine toner over the telephone.

    Capital doesn’t sell toner – over the telephone or otherwise. However, it does sell inkjet cartridges, which apparently is close enough to fool some Capital customers.

    That’s standard operating procedure for the “Toner Phoner” pirates – so named by the National Fraud Information Center.

    They assume the names of trusted companies in the towns where they operate and use those names to gain victims’ trust.

    The Fraud Information Center describes the scam this way:

    “Scenario: You get a call from someone who claims to be your regular office supply company offering a great deal on copier paper, toner or other supplies.

    “Scam: The supplies never arrive, or the quality is inferior and overpriced, and the company has no relation to your regular supplier.”

    For information on how to beat the scam, visit http://www.fraud.org/scams