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Protecting your business Against Telemarketing Fraud

Take steps to protect your business against telemarketing fraud! The following actions can be taken to reduce the likelihood of being victimized by fraudulent telemarketing.

Educate your employees with regard to telemarketing fraud via internal memos, posters, and other forms of communication. Your authorized Ricoh Dealer will be able to provide stickers or signs that can be placed on or near your office machines regarding who to contact if service or supplies are required.

Don't allow employees to give out information about office equipment. This is particularly important in the case of secretaries, clerks and temporary employees, who may not be aware that they could be dealing with a fraudulent operator. Your authorized Ricoh dealer already has this information. Have all such calls forwarded to a designated person within your organization, ideally, the one who is responsible for purchasing your office equipment

Do not allow anyone in your organization, except the designated person, to purchase office supplies. Use a written purchase order system.

All telemarketing is not fraudulent. However, you should verify that the person on the other end is actually your authorized source of office supplies, by getting their name and phone number, and then returning the call. Check with your authorized supplier if there is any doubt at all.

If you are the designated person in your company to purchase office supplies, don't be pressured into making a quick decision on the phone. Be wary of special deals that are too good to be true, especially those that offer gifts or prizes. Ask the caller to put his offer in writing.

Know your Rights!

Unordered Supplies
Under federal law, unordered merchandise sent through the mail may be kept as a free gift. If you are not sure if you ordered the goods, send a certified letter, return receipt requested, asking for proof of the order. Once you are certain that you did not order the goods, you are under no obligation to the sender and should let the company know you are keeping the supplies as a free gift.

Fraudulent Misrepresentation
If the goods were mistakenly ordered and they arrive by a private delivery service, like UPS, do not accept the shipment. If the shipment is accepted, write the sender a certified letter, return receipt requested, and revoke your acceptance of the goods. The letter revoking acceptance should be sent as soon as fraud is detected. By giving the sender the opportunity to pick up the merchandise, no valid claim can be made that you accepted an offer of sale by keeping the shipment. When the sender receives your letter revoking acceptance, they will often have the shipping company come in and pick up the goods. Try to obtain a receipt from the shipping company indicating that the goods were picked up from your place of business. It is important not to exercise ownership over any commercial unit of the goods, therefore, keep in mind you have a duty to use reasonable care to hold the goods until the seller can remove them from your premises.

Reporting Telemarketing Fraud
Ricoh works closely with industry trade associations like BTA (Business Technology Association), as well as government agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorney General Offices to help combat telemarketing fraud.

If you suspect a scam involving office supplies, you should contact your authorized Ricoh Dealer, along with your State Attorney General's office.

If you have been the victim of a fraudulent telemarketing scheme involving office supplies, you can also contact the Business Technology Association. Please access the BTA website for further information www.bta.org

The Federal Trade Commission maintains a useful web site, which addresses telemarketing fraud issues. It also includes a list of contact phone numbers and addresses for State Attorney General Offices, as well as an on-line complaint form The site can be accessed at www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/phonefraud/report.shtml.

Other agencies you can contact include your Regional Chief Postal Inspector, as well as the Better Business Bureau.

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