Procurement & Payment Services
Scams & Alerts
Unfortunately, we live in a society that consists of those that thrive
by preying on unsuspecting victims. The best way to avoid becoming
a victim is to stay informed.
The College at Brockport is not exempt as a target of unscrupulous companies
or individuals that canvass phone numbers and monitor internet buying
practices. They hope to find victims who will unwittingly acknowledge
their attempts to sell bogus, damaged or discontinued products at exorbitant
The most common commodities are advertising, copier toner, office supplies,
printer cartridges and chemicals but scams can involve any commodity
or service that exists. Fortunately, there are ways to protect
yourself and the College from being scammed:
- Allow only designated department personnel to place orders
- Never give your purchasing card number over the phone
unless you have initiated the call
- Never provide a purchasing card number by email - this is never a safe way to communicate confidential information
- Don't give information about your office equipment over the telephone
or via e-mail to unfamiliar suppliers
- Don't respond to unsolicited phone calls or e-mails from suppliers
you don't know
- Refuse all items that you have not ordered
- Do not authorize payment for transactions unless you are sure they
Most scams use common techniques to trap their victims. Company
names and scenarios may change, but the tactics used to accomplish their
goals are, typically, not unique. If a telephone or e-mail solicitor
contacts you offering a "special sale", it could be a supplier scam.
If an unknown solicitor calls to ask for your shipping address, it could
be a supplier scam. If you receive goods that were not ordered,
it could be a supplier scam.
Here are some typical techniques used in telephone scams:
- Scammers typically speak very fast to catch you off guard
- They often don't tell you that they are selling something, just
that they are going to save you money
- Scammers won't give their full names or provide telephone numbers
- The company's name is similar to your supplier's name
- They won't send you a quotation or anything in writing
- Scammers ask for your Social Security number or credit card number
so you can qualify or to identify your purchase
- Scammers can only offer the savings if you purchase on-the-spot
- The "exceptional offer" will expire in a very short time period
- sometimes within hours or minutes
Some commonly used sales pitches of scammers are as follows:
- "We need your address so we can ship the items you ordered."
- "We're raising prices and have several cartons at the old price."
- "We're selling discontinued items at close-out prices."
- "We have free items or gifts for ordering."
- "You must order today to take advantage of the price."
- "The University President referred me to you."
- "The price increase has just been announced but if you order now,
you can avoid it."
- "Our company's anniversary gift to our customers is ready to ship
to you. What is your size, or what color do you want?"
If you suspect you have been contacted by a supplier scam, advise the
caller that it would be best to let Procurement & Payment Services
speak to them. In most cases, the caller will hang up before you
can even dial the number to transfer them.
There are numerous articles and resources available through the Better
Business Bureau to further educate consumers regarding scams, hoaxes,
schemes and legends. Below are other interesting web sites: