From Procurement Services

Procurement Services recently has become aware of several scams targeting departments at St. Thomas.

  • The first scam was reported by the Keffer Library, Minneapolis. A company named CompuStar contacted the library wanting to know if they needed laser printer toner. The representative said that he was in the neighborhood and had extra toner. He specifically asked if the library had an HP4000. When the answer was “yes,” the scammer then said his toner was for that model.
  • The second scam was reported by Food Service, St. Paul campus. A company representative, Janet Miller, said they sell industrial paper products, scrub pads, etc. She indicated the company was in receivership and needed someone to take the balance of their products. Miller used Father Dease’s name during the conversation. When pushed for more information Miller refused to give the name of the company or a phone number.

Sales scam artists are extremely devious and cunning in their ability to trick people. The following information may help in avoiding costly mistakes. Common scams to watch for are:

  • A death in the family that forces the company to close and they need to dispose of surplus material.
  • A customer refused a shipment in our area and the company doesn’t want to go through the expense to return it to the factory.
  • An executive of the institution said the company should call and that we would help them out by taking their product.
  • Watch out for the size of a shipment such as a “box.” This can be anything from one small item in a box to an entire railcar of product.
  • Any unidentifiable company trying to get you to take toner, copier paper, ink cartridges, office supplies, etc.

Be alert to suspicious sounding phone calls! Recently several callers asked specifically for a staff member by name. This may indicate that the scammer has a UST telephone directory.

Scammers often use the name of a top executive; this is an old trick! Generally, the names of top executives are public record. Scammers know that you may be reluctant to contact an executive to check out the information or may believe that the scammers call already has been approved.

Please notify Public Safety and Laura Deuberry in Procurement Services of any suspicious phone calls that could possibly be related to this attempted crime.
St. Paul Public Safety: (651) 962-5100
Minneapolis Public Safety: (651) 962-4100
Laura Deuberry: (651) 962-6311