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Supplier Scams

Summary: If a telephone or e-mail solicitor contacts you offering a 'special sale', it could be a supplier scam.

UCI departments are often targets of unscrupulous companies or individuals who canvass phone numbers and monitor Internet buying practices. They hope to find victims who will unwittingly acknowledge their attempts to sell damaged, discontinued or inferior products at exorbitant prices. The most common commodities are copier toner, printer cartridges, and latex gloves.

Because these solicitors often know the type of items you order, identifying a scam can be difficult. Here are some tips:

  • If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
    • Don't fall for unreasonable discounts. There are usually hidden costs.
    • Prices are frequently high. These suppliers assume you don't compare prices or check invoices.

  • Be aware of the 'sales pitch.' Here are common examples:
    • 'We're raising prices and have several cartons at the old price.'
    • 'We're selling discontinued items at close-out prices.'
    • 'We're calling on behalf of (department's usual supplier).'
    • 'We have free items or gifts for ordering.'
    • 'You must order today to take advantage of this price.'
  • Additional ways:
    • The company's representative won't give full names or provide phone numbers.
    • The company's name may be similar to your normal supplier's name.
    • They won't send quotes, or anything in writing.
    • They may ask for your Social Security or credit card number.
  • Bottom line : If you are not COMFORTABLE with the solicitation, speak with the commodity buyer in central purchasing.

Links to more information:
If you suspect a supplier scam, immediately contact the appropriate Buyer.

Need an expert? Speak with the appropriate Buyer.

Notice: Where the information presented in this document or elsewhere on this site is in conflict with University polices, procedures, or applicable collective bargaining agreements, the terms of those University policies, procedures and agreements shall govern.


Author: N/A Last published: N/A