DEAR ABBY: Reading your column is the first order of business in most companies, so please pass this along. There is a scam going on that rips off businesses big and small:
A phone call comes in, usually from a woman who says, "Hi, this is Patty. What is the serial number on your office copier?" DO NOT GIVE OUT THIS INFORMATION. The scam is, the next thing you know a pallet load of copy paper is delivered. It's very low-grade stuff and very high-priced. The invoice will show the serial number.
Many of these invoices are paid due to the paperwork shuffle. The callers will say, "We're updating our records." If you ask for their telephone number for a callback, they hang up. A new twist is that they phone the Chamber of Commerce in the area for member listings and use that information to appear legit.
The person in the office, usually an inexperienced, low-level clerk, gives the information and gets in trouble.
Please pass this on to your readers. Thank you! –-SHIRLEY HOCKING, BUSINESS OWNER, ALAMEDA, CALIF.
DEAR SHIRLEY: Thank you for the warning. A word to the wise is sufficient.